The Stanley Cup defense for the Tampa Bay Lightning is well intact following two straight wins against the Carolina Hurricanes in Round 2 of their playoff series.
Tonight's 2-1 victory at PNC Arena cemented their 2-0 advantage; the series now shifts back to Tampa Bay, where Games 3 and 4 will be held at Amalie Arena.
Forward Anthony Cirelli's 3rd period goal proved to be the game winner for the Lightning, who also got a goal from Alex Killorn to break the ice at 7:09 of the 2nd period.
Despite holding the Lightning to only 15 shots, Carolina wasn't able to break a strong performance in net from goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who finished with 31 saves. It was a fitting evening for the Russian netminder, who was announced as one of the NHL's three finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender during the regular season.
Carolina's lone goal came with just over a minute remaining in regulation courtesy of Andrei Svechnikov, who was camped all alone in front of Vasilevskiy and buried a centering pass from Jordan Staal. Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic finished with 13 saves.
Game 3 is scheduled for Thursday at 8:00 PM EST. With this being the first real adversity the Hurricanes have faced in the postseason after having not trailed once in their Round 1 series against Nashville, we'll see how they respond in a must-win situation.