RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Tampa Bay was shut down by Carolina for two games, and then found itself trailing the Hurricanes again after the first period despite putting plenty of pucks on the net.
The good news for coach Jon Cooper? The Lightning stayed on the attack.
Ondrej Palat snapped a tie 8:04 into the third period to help Tampa Bay beat Carolina 4-2 on Monday night, taking the second of four straight games between the teams.
Palat, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who were shut out in each of their first two matchups with the Hurricanes this season. Then they trailed 1-0 after the first despite getting 11 shots on James Reimer and controlling play.
“We had to believe in what we were doing and we would have a chance to come back if we were playing the same way, and we did,” Cooper said. “And that was the big talk in between the first and the second (period): ‘Keep playing the same way and you’ll be rewarded,’ and they were.”
Stamkos got the Lightning on the board early in the second, and Palat picked up his seventh goal when he poked his own rebound off the skates of Carolina defenseman Brady Skjei and Reimer before it went into the net.
Hedman scored his fourth goal in the second and Alex Killhorn added a late empty-netter to clinch it for the Lightning, who had lost three of four. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 34 saves.
Jesper Fast scored his first two goals for Carolina, which had won five of six. Reimer made 28 saves and held up against Tampa Bay’s fast start.
“That’s exactly what we said was going to happen, thought was going to happen, tried to prepare for it,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said of the Lightning’s start. “Obviously we weren’t ready to go from the start. … They took it to us in the first period — real fortunate to be ahead.”
The Lightning entered Monday having gone nearly 156 minutes of game time and more than seven periods since last finding the back of the net against the Hurricanes.
Stamkos stopped that drought when he one-timed a feed from Hedman on the left side at 2:26 of the second. It was Tampa Bay’s first goal against Carolina since Brayden Point‘s second-period goal in a 3-1 win in January 2020.
“We had some great chances in the first and we didn’t bury them,” Hedman said. “It’s human nature to start thinking (about the drought), but I think a lot of credit goes to all the guys that we stuck with it and then we got rewarded.”
Lightning center Alex Barre-Boulet played 12 minutes in his NHL debut.
The 23-year-old is an undrafted player who signed with the organization in 2018 and went on to become the American Hockey League rookie of the year a year later. He scored 64 goals at the AHL level with Syracuse, with three coming this season.
“I didn’t sleep much last night, to be honest,” Barre-Boulet said. “I was really excited.”
Fast, who signed in October after seven seasons with the New York Rangers, found the net in his 12th game with Carolina.
“I feel like I’m trying to focus on playing the right way,” Fast said. “And when you play good, usually the goals and points come.”
Carolina entered at 12-3-1 with 25 points, rising to the top of the Central Division standings while matching the franchise’s best record through 16 games.
The other time came in the 2005-06 season, which ended with the Hurricanes winning their only Stanley Cup in a seven-game series against Edmonton.
The teams shift their four-game set to Florida for games on Wednesday and Thursday.