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Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Tampa Bay Lightning

Gudas, Bolts rally past Carolina in OT

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Lightning kept firing shots on Saturday, and Justin Peters kept turning them away.

But on Tampa Bay’s 50th shot of the game, Radko Gudas blasted a slap shot past Peters 2:16 into overtime to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 victory in front of an announced sellout crowd of 19,204 at the Forum.

Gudas’ second goal of the season gave the Lightning a fourth consecutive victory, tied for the longest winning streak this season for Tampa Bay.

“We were on a 3-on-1, I saw (Peters) was cheating on the pass, and I wasn’t 100 percent sure I could make the pass, so I decided to shoot and it went in ... awesome,’’ Gudas said.

Ben Bishop stopped 25 shots to collect his 19th victory of the season, second-most in the league, as he allowed two or fewer goals for the 22nd time in 27 starts this season.

Marty St. Louis scored his team-high 15th goal to tie the game in the third period, Valtteri Filppula had two assists, and Victor Hedman had a goal and an assist as Tampa Bay registered at least 50 shots on goal for the fifth time in franchise history, but won for the first time while hitting that mark.

For most of the game, it appeared Tampa Bay was going to skate back to its locker room shaking its collective heads at the performance Peters put on, as the Lightning never led in regulation.

Of the 18 Lightning skaters on the ice, 14 had at least two shots on goal. Many of the chances were of the high-quality variety, as well, with Peters putting on a show to keep Carolina in the game.

“I have to tip my cap to that kid,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “I coached against him in the American Hockey League, and he was a pain in the butt then, and now he’s become a pain in the butt in the NHL. He was outstanding tonight.

“But I thought, our guys, you couldn’t ask too much more from them tonight. Sometimes the goaltender is the best player on the ice, and he was tonight, but fortunately for us we got that extra one by him.’’

Tampa Bay was in control of the puck for almost the entire game, putting on a puck possession clinic and forcing the Hurricanes — who played at home Friday — to defend for long stretches of time.

But Carolina grabbed the lead on its first shot of the game at 4:35 of the opening period when Jiri Tlusty fired a long-range wrist shot through a screen and past Bishop.

It took until 3:48 left in the first before Hedman solved Peters to tie the game as Tampa Bay finished the opening 20 minutes with 19 shots, a season high for a period.

Carolina struck again on its first shot of the second period when Tlusty outskated Ondrej Palat and came in on a short-handed breakaway to beat Bishop five-hole at 10:11 for the Hurricanes’ league-leading seventh short-handed goal of the season — and fourth allowed by Tampa Bay.

Peters then kept Tampa Bay at bay, making several highlight-reel stops, including a glove save on Filppula that appeared to be in the net but was upheld as no goal after review with 1:04 left in the second.

TXT Body: The Lightning finally broke through with a power-play goal at 7:56 of the third when a Hedman shot/pass found the stick of St. Louis at the right post to tie the game, marking the first time Tampa Bay has scored power-play goals in consecutive games since Oct. 27-29.

Only Peters’ brilliance kept the game tied through regulation to steal Carolina a point and get the game to overtime.

“He was unbelievable tonight,’’ Hedman said of Peters. “We knew we had to keep wearing them down, keep shooting the puck and finally our (power play) got the goal, got us into overtime and then Guddy with the blast ended it.

“But we had to just keep shooting pucks. We knew sooner or later it’s going to go in.’’

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