Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bolts blow three goal lead...fall in OT

By JC De La Torre

The Tampa Bay Lightning are still looking for their first win of 2008, as they blew a 3-0 lead and fell to the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime 4-3, spoiling the Lightning's home opener.

Mark Recchi opened up the scoring for the Bolts with tap in goal from a shot by Matt Carle at the 8:20 mark of the first. Tampa Bay would make it 2-0 on Janne Niskala's first career NHL goal (and the Lightning's first on the power play this season) and after one, the Bolts held the two goal advantage.

Vincent Lecavalier scored a power play goal midway through the 2nd to stake the Lightning to a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 advantage. That's when Eric Staal and the Hurricanes took over. Brind Amour would cut the Bolts advantage to 3-1 lead with only 9 seconds left in the 2nd period.

The third period was all Carolina, they outshot the Bolts 20-2 in the period. Early in the period they got a power play goal from Matt Cullen to cut the lead to 1, then at the 9:56 mark Eric Staal would tie it.

Into overtime the game went and both teams just missing on opportunities early in the OT. It would be Staal breaking the Lightning's hearts, scoring with just 0:24 left in the overtime, to beat Tampa Bay.

On the brightside, the Lightning definitely showed the forecheck that was missing the first two games of the season, and for at least two periods they had the puck possession where they wanted it. The Lightning are obviously a work in progress for Head Coach Barry Melrose, but there were definitely some encouraging signs tonight.

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