The Carolina Hurricanes had a hard time scoring Friday and lost in overtime.
Those were two problem areas a year ago that the Canes are looking to correct this season. They’ll need to if they’re to contend for a spot in the playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Lightning topped the Canes 2-1 on Ondrej Palat’s breakaway goal at 1:38 of overtime at PNC Arena. The Canes, stymied by goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy most of their first home preseason game, forced the extra period on Jeff Skinner’s power-play goal with 1:05 left in regulation.
Skinner’s score came with a six-on-four advantage after the Canes pulled goalie Michael Leighton for an extra attacker. Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point was called for a double minor for high-sticking late in regulation, and the Canes also had a four-on-three power play to begin the OT.
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After the Lightning killed off the penalty in overtime, Palat beat Leighton for the winner.
“It was a sloppy two periods for both teams,” Canes assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “The neural zone was really poor, a lot of turnovers. We never really got a forecheck going. But the third period was a little more exciting.”
The Canes (2-0-1 preseason), who managed 11 shots in the first two periods, had 16 in the third, pressuring Vasilevskiy.
The Lightning (2-1) had a lot fewer veterans in the lineup than the Canes but they did have Tyler Johnson. The forward scored from the slot in the first, beating starting goalie Eddie Lack with a blistering shot after the Lightning easily pushed the puck through the neutral zone and into scoring position in the zone.
“They really took the play to us and it took a while to find our legs,” Canes forward Lee Stempniak said. “As time went on we had some chances. We stuck with it despite the slow start.
“They played it tight defensively and really clogged up the neutral zone. It was tough to make plays and (Vasilevskiy) made some big saves.”
After competing for Finland in the World Cup, forwards Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho made their first preseason game appearance -- and first at PNC Arena. The two put in in their first practices with the Canes this week but did not travel with the team for the first two preseason games — and road wins — against Washington and Tampa Bay.
“For their first game for both of them, in a new environment, I thought it was good,” Brind’Amour said.
Teravainen and Aho, on a line centered by Elias Lindholm, were on the ice for the Johnson goal. They had some other shaky moments early but appeared to settle into the game.
Veteran forward Raffi Torres, in Canes camp on a professional tryout, also was in the lineup.
Stempniak blistered a shot off Vasilevskiy and Vasilevskiy later denied Rask on a shot late in the first. Jordan Staal hit the post late in the second.
The Canes had six power plays and had some decent looks, but didn’t convert until late in regulation.
Canes coach Bill Peters has missed training camp while serving as an assistant coach as Team Canada won the World Cup. Peters was expected back Friday and should be at practice Saturday.