NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Tampa Bay
(Tuesday, April 6th)
Final Score: Carolina 8, Tampa Bay 5
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Eric Staal posted two goals and two assists as Carolina notched a season-best for goals in one game by topping Tampa Bay, 8-5, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Rod Brind'Amour and Drayson Bowman also picked up a pair of goals apiece while Chad LaRose added a goal and two helpers for the Hurricanes, who snapped a two-game slide.
Cam Ward picked up the win in relief, stopping 24-of-26 shots over 34-plus minutes. Manny Legace started but left due to an undisclosed injury after allowing two goals on 11 shots.
"It was an unusual game. We came out way more sharp and focused than we have been, and put a lot of pucks to the net," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice of the high-octane affair. "I'm pleased that we were able to execute and when you bring that kind of emotion to a hockey game, good things happen."
Brandon Bochenski tallied twice for the Lightning, who have dropped four of five. Steven Stamkos, Andrej Meszaros and Teddy Purcell also lit the lamp.
Antero Niittymaki was tagged for five goals on 23 shots in the first period, but Mike Smith took the loss after yielding two scores on 17 shots.
Stamkos notched his 47th goal of the season to put the Bolts ahead 5:44 into the contest, but Bowman countered for the 'Canes at 8:04 on the power play.
Brind'Amour's wrister from the slot put Carolina ahead just after the midway point of the first, and a Jussi Jokinen backhander made it 3-1 at 17:57.
Brind'Amour added his second of the period with 30.2 seconds to play, then Bowman emerged from a goal-mouth scramble with a goal 11 seconds later and the visitors led 5-1 after one period.
Bochenski pulled the Lightning within three early in the second, before Staal struck at 6:43 and again at 9:47 for a 7-2 contest.
Purcell made it a four-goal game once again at 14:09 when he converted a Vincent Lecavalier rebound.
Tampa Bay made things interesting late, as Meszaros tallied with 4:43 left in regulation on a bouncing shot then a tip-in from Bochenski brought the Bolts within 7-5 less than 90 seconds later.
LaRose, though, hit the clincher into the empty net with 24.1 seconds remaining.
"In every game there comes a time when you've got to bear down, but we didn't and it was embarrassing," Meszaros offered of the Bolts' poor defensive showing. "Even after the first period, our effort just wasn't good enough."
The Hurricanes' previous high for scores in a game came in a 7-2 win over Florida on October 9...The clubs split six meetings this season, and Carolina has taken nine of the last 12 matchups after a six-game sweep last year...Jokinen's tally gave him 30 goals for the season, the first time in his career he reached that mark...Lightning forward Zenon Konopka racked up 12 penalty minutes in the contest, setting a franchise record with 260, eclipsing Enrico Ciccone's original mark of 258 set in 1995-96.
04/06 23:13:49 ET