|Date of game: 12/11/2014
Recap: Tampa Bay vs. Carolina
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nikita Kucherov's marker with 30.3 seconds left in regulation sent Tampa Bay past Carolina, 2-1, on Thursday.
Kucherov's second goal of the contest was a fluke deflection. He appeared to want to pass across from the left circle, but the puck instead changed direction off the skate of Hurricanes defenseman Ron Hainsey in the slot and slid over the goal line.
Evgeni Nabokov turned away 29 pucks and picked up his first assist of the season for the Lightning, who had lost two in a row.
"It was nice to see him get rewarded," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said of Nabokov. "He played great and gave us a chance to win."
Justin Faulk tallied and Cam Ward made 25 saves for the Hurricanes, who suffered their fourth straight defeat and third by one goal.
"We should've capitalized on more than just the on goal," said Ward.
The Bolts picked up the game's first goal on a power play at the 6:35 mark of the third on another fluke occurrence.
Anton Stralman dumped the puck in from the neutral zone, and instead of the puck curling from the right-wing boards around behind Carolina's net, it kicked out into the slot.
Kucherov was a step ahead of three Hurricanes players and shot the disc into an empty net.
Faulk tied things inside of eight minutes remaining, as his floater from the right point caromed off the stick of Tampa's Victor Hedman in front and eluded Nabokov.Game Notes
Tampa Bay's 41 points ranks best in the Eastern Conference, one point over
idle Detroit, and its 19 wins is tied for tops in the East with the Islanders
... Kucherov, who set a new career best with 11 goals this season, posted his
second multi-goal effort this year and first since a hat trick on Oct. 28
against the Coyotes.