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Gourde scores in OT to lift Lightning over Hurricanes 3-2

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Yanni Gourde scored 2:50 into overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night in a critical matchup between Central Division contenders.

Alex Killorn and Brayden Point also scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 25 saves.

Andrei Svechnikov and Brady Skjei scored for Carolina, with only one regulation loss in the past eight games. Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots.

Carolina and Florida are tied for the Central Division lead with 63 points, though the Hurricanes have two games in hand. The defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning is one point behind the co-leaders. Gourde found a loose puck alone in the right circle, and after Mrazek stopped his initial shot, Gourde was able to put in the rebound before the Carolina goaltender could reach back. It was Gourde’s 16th goal of the season.


Killorn opened the scoring after taking a pass from Tyler Johnson off the boards to skate in on a breakaway. Killorn pulled the puck to his backhand and lifted the shot over Mrazek at 14:42.

Point got his 300th career point on his 19th goal of the season after deflecting Ondre Palat’s shot pass on the power play at 2:08 of the second period.

Svechnikov cut the lead to 2-1 just 10 seconds into a power play with a wrist shot from the left point.

Skjei pulled the Hurricanes even 1:08 into the third as he cut down from the left point to intercept a pass from Alex Barre-Boulet and beat Vasilevskiy with a wrist shot from the slot.season, including Saturday in a loss to Florida when he was responsible for a late-period turnover and failed coverage. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper removed Johnson from the power-play rotation after conversing with the veteran center earlier in the day.

“I’ve coached him a long time, and I trust him as a player,’’ Cooper said. “He’s had many, many, many more ups than downs. When you go through this, you have to stand with your player and try to work his way out of that. Part of that is to work on the 5-on-5 game and then take steps. He’s a consummate pro, and I’m sure he’s going to work his way out of this.’’


Carolina continues to carry three goaltenders on the active roster, with Mrazek, James Reimer, and Alex Nedeljkovic. Mrazek, who missed two months with a fractured thumb, and Nedeljkovic have sub-2.00 goals-against averages, while Reimer leads the team with 14 wins.

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour wants to use a more set rotation with the playoffs less than a month away.

“Do we have a plan? Yeah, but we are going day-to-day on how we want to focus it,’’ Brind’Amour said. “And it’s tough on those guys because you will not make everybody happy no matter what. You don’t want guys to get stale.’’ so we have to do what is best for the group and probably lean toward two guys more to keep them sharp.


The teams play again on Tuesday.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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