Nikita Kucherov & Steven Stamkos each scored two goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4 on Saturday night at Amalie Arena to take a 3-1 series lead in their best-of-seven second-round matchup.
Brayden Point & Tyler Johnson also scored for Tampa Bay.
The first period was filled with great back-and-forth action until the Lightning were able to break through at 14:24.
After a failed clearing attempt by the Hurricanes, Erik Cernak kept the puck in the zone and found a streaking Ondrej Palat coming down the left wing. Palat quickly threw the puck towards the net & Point re-directed it past Carolina netminder Petr Mrazek to put the Lightning up 1-0.
Following a back-and-forth opening period, things got crazy in the 2nd.
Carolina came out with a vengeance to start the period and after killing an Andrei Svechnikov tripping penalty, got on the board themselves.
Teuvo Teravainen scored less than a minute after the Svechnikov penalty expired, and then Jesper Fast gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead just 39 seconds later with a goal of his own.
The Lightning answered back with a Steven Stamkos power play goal at 9:54, but Carolina re-took the lead just 41 seconds later when a point shot from Dougie Hamilton beat Vasilevskiy following sustained pressure in the Tampa Bay zone to make it 3-2.
The Hurricanes continued the pressure and Jaccob Slavin then fired a shot from an awkward angle past Vasilevskiy just over two minutes later to put Carolina up two.
And that's went things went really nuts.
Kucherov scored on the power play at 14:38 to cut the Hurricanes lead to one and then Johnson scored at 17:10 high over the glove of Mrazek to tie it up at four.
It looked like the game would be tied going into the second intermission, but after Svechnikov's third minor penalty of the game, Tampa Bay took the lead.
Stamkos scored his second power play goal of the period with just 22.4 seconds left in the 2nd to put the Lightning up 5-4 and send the crowd at Amalie Arena into a frenzy.
Kucherov scored at 6:01 of the 3rd period after a beautiful pickpocket and pass by Palat -- say that five times fast -- for a 6-4 lead & to seal the deal for Tampa Bay.
Mrazek stopped 20 of the 26 shots he faced.
A Very Savy Move : After missing the first three games of the series against Carolina with an upper-body injury, Lightning defenseman David Savard was back in the lineup for Game 4 and played . With Savard returning, Luke Schenn was scratched.
- Tampa Bay - Point - (Palat, Cernak) - 14:24
- Carolina - Teravainen - (Staal, Svechnikov) - 4:30
- Carolina - Fast - (Slavin, Martinook) - 5:09
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Stamkos - (Killorn, Point) - 9:54
- Carolina - Hamilton - (Aho, Svechnikov) - 10:35
- Carolina - Slavin - (Paquette, Lorentz) - 12:41
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Kucherov - (Stamkos, Hedman) - 14:38
- Tampa Bay - Johnson - (Colton, Maroon) - 17:10
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Stamkos - (Kucherov, Cirelli) - 19:37
- Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Palat) - 6:01
- Carolina - Foegele - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 0:00
- Tampa Bay - Coleman - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 0:00
- Carolina - Staal - (Hooking) - 11:36
- Carolina - Svechnikov - (Hooking) - 17:18
- Carolina - Svechnikov - (Tripping) - 1:59
- Tampa Bay - Savard - (Tripping) - 6:16
- Carolina - Martinook - (Boarding) - 9:09
- Carolina - Bean - (Hooking) - 14:11
- Carolina - Svechnikov - (Roughing) - 19:07
- Tampa Bay - Savard - (Interference) - 2:09
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning & Hurricanes are back in action for Game 5 of this series on Tuesday night back in Raleigh. Puck drop is slated for 6:30pm with the pregame show at 5:30pm on NewsRadio WFLA.
PHOTO : Getty Images