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Raddysh shines in Bolts 7-4 loss to Carolina

The Lightning's second round pick from the 2016 draft tallied three points in Sunday's defeat

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Taylor Raddysh gave Lightning fans a bit of a scare when he didn't show up on the ice for the first day of Tampa Bay's rookie camp on Thursday.

He also didn't play in the first of the Lightning's three games at the 2019 NHL Prospects Showcase at the Ford Ice Center in Antioch, Tenn., on Saturday, further fueling speculation Raddysh might be injured.

Bolts fans need not worry, however. Taylor Raddysh is doing just fine.

Raddysh scored a pair of power-play goals and added an assist on another power-play marker for a three-point game in Tampa Bay's 7-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in showcase game No. 2 for the Bolts on Sunday.

Raddysh, along with Ross Colton, who also recorded three points with a goal and pair of assists, drove the offense for a Lightning prospect group that was limited to just one goal in their opening game Saturday against host Nashville but started to figure it out as Sunday's game against the Canes progressed.

Tweet from @TBLightning: 🚨🚨🚨@roscoldash to @raddy1998 on the PP! #ProspectsShowcase pic.twitter.com/cnnSZFPYlD

"I just tweaked a muscle this summer. Just precautionary," Raddysh said of his absence. "I missed one skate at the start of rookie camp, but after that I was good to go and I'm healthy now."

Like Saturday versus the Predators, Tampa Bay fell behind 3-0 again on Sunday but started to work its way back into the game thanks to a highly effective power play. Colton got the Bolts on the board on the man-advantage, wristing a shot through traffic and past Carolina goalie Samuel Harvey while falling down at the midpoint of the second period.

Jamieson Rees scored a second power-play goal for Carolina early in the third period to re-establish the Canes' three-goal lead, but Raddysh drew the Lightning closer with the first of his two power-play goals moments later.

Carolina again went back in front by three goals 5-2 with 12:13 to go. Tampa Bay again answered on the power play, Raddysh slipping a shot through Harvey from the right circle at 10:15 of the final period.

"We were moving the puck well and getting into the zone, which was a big key for us just getting in there and setting up and making plays off that," Raddysh said of the Bolts power play.

Tampa Bay goalie Clint Windsor headed to the bench with over five-and-a-half minutes remaining for the extra attacker to try to generate more offense and bring the Lightning closer, however Carolina pushed its lead to 6-3 after scoring on the empty net.

Mikhail Shalagin lifted a slick backhand over Harvey with two minutes to go. Carolina added a second empty-netter for the 7-4 final.

Raddysh said the Lightning need to play a full 60-minute game Tuesday in the showcase finale versus Washington to leave Nashville with a victory.

Tweet from @TBLightning: x2!@roscoldash and @raddy1998 link up again on the power play for our third PPG of the game. #ProspectsShowcase pic.twitter.com/ha1e6j15TN

"We play okay for a period or two, but we've got to do it the whole game," Raddysh said. "Can't wait to start playing after the first period's over."

Despite his slight setback late in his summer training, Raddysh said the offseason was productive. Last season was his first as a professional, and it didn't take him long to adjust to the higher level of play in the American Hockey League. Raddysh scored 18 goals for the Syracuse Crunch, sixth-most on the team, and tallied 46 points in 70 games. The former 2016 second-round pick of the Lightning is likely targeted to return to the Crunch this season but is getting closer and closer to realizing his dream of playing in the NHL.

To that end, Raddysh worked doggedly on his skating in the summer to shore up a self-described weakness.

"In the past, my skating's been a big fault in my game," he said. "I feel like over the last couple of years, I've put a lot of time and work into that. I feel like it's come a long way."

And Raddysh has come a long way in just a couple days, from injured and unavailable to the main cog in the Lightning's offensive engine.

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