Lightning Score Late to Top Hurricanes

TAMPA, Fla. — Brayden Point had a tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period and added a late empty-netter in the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning’s 3-1 comeback victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

After Point scored from in-close with 3:15 left, the centre got his 28th goal into the empty net during the final minute.

Ondrej Palat also scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves. Point also had an assist.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Justin Williams picked up his 300th NHL goal for the Hurricanes, who had a five-game winning streak end. Petr Mzarek 27 stopped shots.

The Lightning, 17-1-1 over the last 19 games, tied a team mark with their ninth consecutive win at home.

The Lightning’s NHL-best power play converted its fifth chance when Steven Stamkos’ shot was blocked and the puck went through the slot to Palat, who tied it at 1 at 11:56 of the third.

Williams opened the scoring with a rebound goal from the low left circle 4:34 into the second.

Tampa Bay had a nifty breakaway goal by Point with 9:51 left in the second disallowed after a video review requested by the Hurricanes that determined the play was offside because Tyler Johnson had not completely left the ice on a line change.

Point had his original shot stopped by Mrazek but put home a rebound by knocking in an ankle puck.

Mrazek made a big save on NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov with five minutes to play.

Mzarek is 1-10-2 with a shutout in the regular season against the Lightning. He went 4-6 against Tampa Bay in the playoffs while with Detroit, including a key role in a near upset of the eventual Eastern Conference champion Lightning in a seven-game opening round series in 2015.

NOTES: Tampa Bay is 6-5-0 when trailing after two periods. . Williams has 18 goals in 52 games against Tampa Bay. . Lightning RW Ryan Callahan (upper body) missed his second straight game and is day to day. . Victor Hedman played in his 663rd game and moved past Pavel Kubina for the most by a Tampa Bay defenceman.


Hurricanes: Host Buffalo on Friday night.

Lightning: At Buffalo on Saturday night.


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Mark Didtler, The Associated Press