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Recap: Canes Drop Overtime Decision to Bolts

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

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→ The Carolina Hurricanes tied tonight's preseason home opener in the final minutes of the game, but the Tampa Bay Lightning emerged victorious, 2-1, in overtime on Ondrej Palat's breakway goal in 3-on-3 play.

Video: Watch all the action from TB vs. CAR

→ For much of tonight's tilt, Tyler Johnson's first-period tally was the lone dent on the scoreboard in what was a low-scoring, limited-offense affair.

"We made one little mistake and didn't read the rush quite correctly," Canes assistant coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "It ended up in the back of the net. Other than that, it wasn't awful, but obviously we're going to have to shore up some of that neutral zone stuff."

On Friday morning, Canes assistant coach Steve Smith singled out the team's energy as a contributor to the first two preseason wins. That might not have quite been there through tonight's first 40 minutes.

"It was a sloppy first two periods for both teams, really. There wasn't a lot going on. The neutral zone was really poor. A lot of turnovers, and we never really got a good forecheck going," Brind'Amour said. "Our third period was a little more exciting."

→ The Hurricanes had their best offensive looks on the power play - they had six man advantage opportunities tonight - and finally cashed in at the 18:55 mark of the third period. With a sixth attacker on, Jeff Skinner pounced on a rebound and deposited it in the back of the net to draw the score even at one.

"It paid off for us at the end," Skinner said. "Usually on 6-on-4, it's not the prettiest goal. A rebound or the puck squirts out somewhere. You just try to find the soft areas in the ice and bury it when you get the chance."

"They had a lot of great looks," Brind'Amour said. "They worked hard and moved it around pretty well tonight. To get rewarded at the end was good just for the morale of the group, probably more than anything."

Video: Hear from Staal, Skinner, & Brind'Amour Postgame

→ As has been the case this preseason, the Hurricanes again split goaltending duties tonight. Eddie Lack played the first two periods and made 11 saves on 12 shots. He's now allowed just one goal in four periods of preseason action. Michael Leighton took the game the rest of the way.

→ Joining assistant coaches Rod Brind'Amour and Steve Smith on the bench tonight was Charlotte Checkers assistant coach Peter Andersson. Expect Canes head coach Bill Peters to return to his usual post on Sunday in Minnesota.

→ Speaking of Sunday in Minnesota, that's up next on the Hurricanes' seven-game preseason slate. That will kick off a three-game road trip that will then take the team to a pair of neutral-site locales: Marquette, Mich., for Kraft Hockeyville USA and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., both match-ups against the Buffalo Sabres.

"We've got to get everybody up to speed as fast as we can," Brind'Amour said of those remaining in camp. "The more games they can get in, the better."

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