Lightning hold on, beat Hurricanes in OT

In the third, the Lightning would add a huge "insurance goal" when Sean Bergenheim beat Cam Ward through the five hole on a 2-1 break  to give the Lightning a two-goal lead once again. The goal would be an important insurance goal because of what would happen late in the game. With the Lightning leading 3-1, and Ward on the bench with under a minute to go, rookie Jeff Skinner would score his 21st goal of the year to get the Hurricanes back within a goal. Less than 20 seconds later, the Hurricanes would tie the game at 3 when Erik Cole re-directed a point shot.

Into the overtime, with all the momentum against the Lightning, it would be the newest member of the team to make the difference as Marc-Andre Bergeron beat Ward with a shot from the point to give the Lightning the second point.

It was a huge two points for the Lightning. With Washington losing earlier today, it takes their Southeast Division lead to five points.

"It's definitely a good feeling," Vincent Lecavalier said of gaining ground on the Capitals. "They're a good team, so anytime we can gain points on them, it feels good. At the same time, we focus on what we have to do. We play one game at a time, and we weren't real happy with our last game, so we played real solid tonight."

For Bergeron, after a bump in the road against Buffalo, he continues to impress with his offensive skill.

"I saw him do that all last year," head coach Guy Boucher said of Bergeron. "Big goals at big moments. I'm happy but I am not surprised."

The Lightning see the home stand continue this week with what may be their biggest test to date. Home games against the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings. This will be a chance for the Lightning to make a statement about where they are in the standings against two of the elite teams in the NHL.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning met the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night at the St. Pete Times Forum. Both teams also met the inside of their respective penalty boxes frequently as well, as the Lightning needed overtime go beat the Hurricanes in a penalty-filled affair.

"With everything going on in the league right now, I am sure all the referees got a memo," Lightning defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron said. "They definitely tightened up, which is fine. We just had to get used to it. We know what a penalty is, so it is up to us to be smart."

After a scoreless first period, the Lightning got on the board first when Steve Downie slid a rebound past Carolina goalie Cam Ward to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead. The suddenly-hot Vincent Lecavalier added his 12th goal of the year less than three minutes later to extend the Lightning lead to 2-0. The Hurricanes would respond when Eric Staal scored his 27th goal of the year to get the Hurricanes back within a goal.

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