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Tampa Bay Lightning One Win Away from Moving On

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates with the bench after his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Saturday, June 5, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates with the bench after his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Saturday, June 5, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TAMPA, FLA – An explosive second period propels the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-1 series lead against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Lightning kicked off the scoring with a shot from Brayden Point in the first period. It was the third time this series Tampa scored the game’s first goal. The tip-in was Point’s seventh of the postseason.

Tampa Bay killed two separate penalties in the opening frame. The team also registered 12 shots on net to Carolina’s 7.

In the second, Carolina came out firing. Teuvo Teravainen found the back of the net for the Canes with a slapshot from the left-hand face-off dot. Thirty-nine seconds later Carolina grabbed their first lead of the night. Jesper Fast recorded his first of the postseason with a wrist shot in the low slot. But the Bolts would come charging back.

The Lightning found themselves on the powerplay halfway through the second period. A shot from the right side hit Peter Mrazek with the rebound coming out to Steven Stamkos on the other side. He would fire it into the wide-open net to tie the game at two.

Carolina fought back grabbing their second lead of the night. A wrist shot from the point had eyes through traffic. It was Jacob Slavin’s first of the playoffs and Carolina regained the lead. Each of the first three games of the series has been decided by a point.

However, Tampa was not backing down. The electric atmosphere inside the building transitioned onto the ice. The team scored three goals five minutes apart from each other in the middle frame. It was capped off by a Stamkos goal with 23 seconds left. It was his second of the afternoon. Stamkos coming into the game had been quiet in the series. He assisted on two goals including the game-winner in Game 2.

In the final frame, Tampa kept up the pressure. After missing the net on two separate odd-man rushes, the Lightning extended their lead with a shot from Nikita Kucherov. It was his fifth of the playoffs and first of the second round.

Late in the third period, Carolina hanging in there unleashing a flurry of shots. Head Coach Rob Brind’Amour pulling the goalie for the extra attacker. But Tampa’s Andre Vasilevskiy stood tall coming up with two big saves in the final minute of the game.

The 6-4 win marked the fourth time Tampa lit the lamp at least four times in a game. It was the second time this postseason the Lightning scored six times in-game. The Lightning went three for six on the powerplay in game 4. The Hurricanes went zero for two on the man-advantage. The Canes also led in the faceoff dot; grabbing 58% of the draws.

Carolina finds themselves facing elimination as they head back home. The same two teams will battle in game 5 on Tuesday. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 pm.