NHL Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes - Canes Favored
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been surging lately, thanks in large part to their play on the road.
The Lightning will look to extend their franchise-record six-game road winning streak Thursday when they meet the stumbling Carolina Hurricanes.
Oddsmakers have made Carolina -145 money line (NHL Odds)
favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 6.5 total goals (View NHL Sports Books).
Tampa Bay (27-23-2) won 4-3 in a shootout Tuesday in Philadelphia, breaking the franchise record of five straight road wins set Feb. 23-March 6, 2004. The team's winning streak away from home is its longest since a four-game stretch from Jan. 17-28 last season.
The Lightning went 9-4-0 in January, including a 7-2-0 mark on the road. Four of their road victories during the month, including each of the last three, came in shootouts.
Vincent Lecavalier scored the tying goal in regulation and once in the shootout Tuesday, helping Tampa Bay improve to 6-1 in tiebreakers. Martin St. Louis and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for the Lightning, who were coming off a 2-0 home loss to New Jersey.
"We got lucky," said Brad Richards, who scored Tampa Bay's other shootout goal. "It was a sloppy game by us but we were resilient and got two points which is what we needed. We've been very resilient away from home."
Johan Holmqvist stopped both Philadelphia skaters in the shootout and has stopped all 15 he has faced this season. Holmqvist is 16-10-0 with a 2.76 goals-against average and has won five of his last six starts.
Marc Denis is 11-13-2 with a 3.16 GAA, and he last appeared in the Lightning's 6-5 shootout win over Carolina on Jan. 20. Denis made 30 saves and stopped all four skaters in the tiebreaker to drop Carolina to 0-4 in shootouts.
The Hurricanes (26-21-6) have lost four of five, including Tuesday's 4-1 defeat to Toronto. Ray Whitney, who leads Carolina with 58 points, had the lone goal and has scored in three straight home games.
The loss was also the Hurricanes' fourth in five contests on their own ice. They were outshot 38-29 and outhit 51-35 by the Maple Leafs.
"They were pinching on both sides, and I guess we had problems getting the puck out of the zone, and we had too many turnovers," defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said.
The Hurricanes went 0-for-3 on the power play against the Leafs and have scored just two goals in 24 chances with the man advantage in their last five games.
"The power play wins games and right now it's not going our way," center Eric Belanger told the team's official Web site. "We have to get back to just dumping some pucks in and go get it, and get it back to the point and get some shots and drive the net."
Cam Ward, who made 34 saves Tuesday in falling to 21-14-5 with a 2.91 GAA, has lost four of his last five starts, allowing 20 goals over that span.
Hurricanes left wing Erik Cole did not play because of a lower-body contusion, but defenseman Niclas Wallin returned after missing three games with a lower-body injury.
by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us
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