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Tampa Bay
Lightning
44-33-5
Carolina
Hurricanes
40-34-8

game recap

Hurricanes 6, Lightning 4

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

David Droschak

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Hurricanes 6, Lightning 4
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Carolina Hurricanes 6

Ward, Staal Prove Double Trouble for Lightning

David Droschak

RALEIGH, N.C. (October 28, 2006) - Peter Laviolette will be the first to tell you pucks haven't bounced Carolina's way the first month of the season. That his team is still waiting to put things together, waiting for that complete game.

It came Saturday night against Southeast Division rival Tampa Bay as the Hurricanes rode a nearly flawless opening period to a 6-4 victory, enabling the injury-riddled club to reach the .500 mark heading into November.

A 5-5-2 mark and 12 points isn't a bad opening four weeks, considering the team lost more than 50 man-games due to a variety of injuries - and to a variety of key players. And, of course, let it not be forgotten that the Canes were also coming off a hectic summer with the Stanley Cup.

"I don't have a crystal ball to see the future, but a month like this really sets the tone for the year," said Laviolette. "With all great teams there has to be some adversity, you have to overcome something, you have to use something as a starting point - a rallying cry - and this month certainly has a lot of reasons you can do that.

"You need tough people to get through a tough month, and in that locker room is a bunch of tough people."

How perfect were the opening 20 minutes for Carolina? Well, the Hurricanes scored the fastest three goals in franchise history, breaking a 19-year-old record when Eric Staal, Kevyn Adams and Erik Cole scored 43 seconds apart to blitz the Lighting midway through the period.

Carolina also outshot Tampa Bay 13-2 and made the Lightning's power play look totally inept.

"A lot of these games are games within games, momentum within a game, and we were able to grab that and take it to them," Adams said of the scoring record.

The scoring barrage wasn't all the Canes threw at the Lightning, though. The Hurricanes put on a skating display reminiscence of that of last season's Cup champions, winning nearly every battle for loose pucks, finishing checks and forechecking with a ferocity that frustrated Tampa Bay.

"There's no question the first period was one of our best periods this year," Adams said.

Even when the Lightning rallied from a 4-1 deficit to close to 4-3 late in the second period, the Hurricanes answered in less than two minutes when Staal found Scott Walker with a perfect pass and he finished with a great shot.

Staal's performance was his best of the season. He was all over the ice, getting his first two-goal game of the year. It was one of those games when Staal got the puck, you expected him to score.

"I wish I felt as good as I did tonight every game," said Staal, who logged a season-high 23 minutes and 44 seconds. "Sometimes the legs feel better on certain days. Coach double-shifted me a couple of times early in the game, and I felt I got involved and was in the play. That contributes to feeling good on the ice."

In the first period after Tampa Bay had taken a 1-0 lead on its first shot, Staal raced back to beat Vincent Lecavalier to the puck behind the Carolina net and raced away from his rival center. He made a quick pass to Justin Williams before getting the puck back in time to swoop in on Marc Denis and let go a wicked low wrist shot that surprised the hot Tampa Bay goalie.

Denis had given up just one goal in four of his last six games, including a 5-1 wipeout of the Hurricanes two nights ago. But it appeared that Staal's goal shook his confidence and he was replaced after Staal's second goal, which the center banked off the skate of Tampa Bay defenseman Paul Ranger and past Denis for a three-goal Carolina lead.

"He was on his game," Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour said of Staal. "His first goal was at a bad angle, but he comes with so much speed I think the defense and goalie are not sure what he's going to do. That's why he's been getting those kind of goals from weird angles. He's a dominant player and you can see that."

Walker iced the game when he scored his second goal of the game 55 seconds into the third, giving the Hurricanes their second three-goal lead of the night. Walker got off to a slow start after coming over from Nashville, but now has seven goals in his last eight games, good for second-best on the team.

"It was really my first time being moved with my family and a trade so I was nervous, apprehensive," said Walker, who has 11 points in 12 games. "I wanted to come in early to try to meet the guys and show them that I was going to put in the effort to fit in and work hard.

"They went through a long battle with each other, winning the Stanley Cup and they are very tight, so I just wanted to let them know I was going to help out the best I can. I let them know I want to accomplish the same thing they did."

Rod Brind'Amour added three assists to move within five points of becoming the 71st player in NHL history with 1,000 points.

David Droschak is the former sports editor for the North Carolina bureaus of the Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organization in the world. In 2003, Droschak was named the North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year. The only writer in the Triangle to have covered the Carolina Hurricanes every season since the organization moved to North Carolina, he currently is a principal in the Raleigh-based public relations firm Hughes-Droschak Communications.

scoring summary
1st Period
05:48
TBL
Vinny Prospal (2) ASST: Paul Ranger (5)
1 - 0 TBL
08:23
CAR
PPG - Eric Staal (7) ASST: Justin Williams (7)
1 - 1 Tie
08:32
CAR
Kevyn Adams (1) ASST: Craig Adams (1)
2 - 1 CAR
09:06
CAR
Erik Cole (2) ASST: Ray Whitney (10), Rod Brind'Amour (10)
3 - 1 CAR
2nd Period
05:14
CAR
PPG - Eric Staal (8) ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (11), Anton Babchuk (2)
4 - 1 CAR
12:23
TBL
Ruslan Fedotenko (5) ASST: Filip Kuba (4), Vincent Lecavalier (5)
4 - 2 CAR
16:41
TBL
PPG - Vincent Lecavalier (5) ASST: Vinny Prospal (3), Dan Boyle (5)
4 - 3 CAR
17:34
CAR
Scott Walker (6) ASST: Eric Staal (6)
5 - 3 CAR
3rd Period
00:55
CAR
Scott Walker (7) ASST: Ray Whitney (11), Rod Brind'Amour (12)
6 - 3 CAR
11:32
TBL
Martin St. Louis (6) ASST: Filip Kuba (5), Dan Boyle (6)
6 - 4 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
06:51
TBL
Brad Richards  Hooking against  Ray Whitney
11:07
CAR
Niclas Wallin  Roughing against  Nick Tarnasky
17:36
CAR
Andrew Ladd  Interference against  Cory Sarich
2nd Period
02:26
TBL
Andreas Karlsson  Holding against  Chad LaRose
04:00
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier  Hooking against  Tim Gleason
10:23
CAR
Kevyn Adams  Slashing against  Dan Boyle
16:09
CAR
Eric Belanger  Slashing against  Martin St. Louis
3rd Period
03:43
CAR
Ray Whitney  Hooking against  Cory Sarich
06:46
TBL
Dimitri Afanasenkov  Holding the stick against  Ray Whitney
09:29
CAR
Mike Commodore  Slashing against  Martin St. Louis
12:13
TBL
Luke Richardson  Roughing against  Erik Cole
12:13
TBL
Luke Richardson  Roughing against  Erik Cole
goalie stats
Marc Denis
Marc Denis
SA: 17TOI: 25:14
Saves: 13EV: 8 - 10
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 6
SV%: .765SH: 1 - 1
Johan Holmqvist
Johan Holmqvist
SA: 12TOI: 33:34
Saves: 10EV: 6 - 8
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .833SH: 1 - 1
Cam Ward
SA: 23TOI: 60:00
Saves: 19EV: 11 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .826SH: 2 - 2