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, N.C. (AP) haven’t had much to celebrate at their arena in recent years, at least when it comes to the playoffs. At the end of another listless season, they kept the Tampa Bay Lightning from partying there.Elias Lindholm scored 49 seconds into overtime, and the Hurricanes prevented Tampa Bay from clinching the top spot in the Eastern Conference by beating the Lightning 3-2 on Saturday night.Justin Williams had a goal and an assist, Jordan Staal scored a deflected goal and Phil Di Giuseppe had two assists for the Hurricanes. They had lost three straight and four of five down the stretch during their ninth straight season without making the playoffs – tied for the third-longest such drought in NHL history.”Listen, it’s tough for me to put on a smile for a couple seconds, and then you realize where you are Henrik Lundqvist Jersey Kids
,” Williams said. ”And then instantly turns into a frown.”Ondrej Palat scored the tying goal with 8:49 left and Ryan Callahan also scored for Tampa Bay. But with star Steven Stamkos out for a third straight game with an upper-body injury, the Lightning earned one point for going to OT but relinquished control of the Atlantic Division race to Boston.The Bruins, who beat Ottawa 5-2 on Saturday night, will win the division and claim the top spot in the East if they beat Florida on Sunday night.”You never want to leave things into the hands of another team, but there’s still a chance for us to be the first seed,” Tampa Bay center Alex Killorn said. ”We’ll wait and see.”The winning goal came after Teuvo Teravainen charged between the circles and looked left to Lindholm, who one-timed it past Louis Domingue.That came after J.T. Miller set up Tampa Bay’s tying goal when he found Palat with a slick pass and the defenseman one-timed it by Ward to make it 2-2.Cam Ward made 32 saves against the NHL’s highest-scoring offense. The Lightning average a league-best 3.56 goals and in winning the first two games of the season series had scored five goals in each.”Obviously Jimmy Vesey Jersey
, they’re top in the East for a reason, and pretty much can be a threat every time they’re out there,” Ward said. ”We came in tonight trying to finish the right way, and I thought the effort was there all night. They’re going to get their looks and get their chances but … if I made the save, the guys are right there to help me out.”Domingue stopped 39 shots for Tampa Bay, which had won two straight and three of four.”I like the way that we’ve played the past couple of games,” Killorn said. ”Tonight may not have been as great as the other two Kevin Hayes Jersey
, but it’s about putting a full game together and I think guys are excited for playoffs. We’ve been in the playoffs, clinched, for a while now. We’re kind of tired of waiting and we want to get started.”NOTES: Staal won two awards following a vote of the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, earning the Steve Chiasson Award for determination and dedication to the sport and the Josef Vasicek Award for cooperation with the media. … The group also selected RW Sebastian Aho as team MVP.UP NEXTLightning: Will watch the Florida-Boston game while awaiting the start of their first-round series.Hurricanes: Preseason camp starts in September.— Two teams coming off disappointing losses meet Wednesday, and both are trying to figure things out on special teams.The Montreal Canadiens can’t seem to score on the power play and suddenly the Colorado Avalanche are struggling to consistently kill penalties. Something has to give when the teams play at Pepsi Center in Denver on Wednesday night.Montreal (17-12-5) lost to Boston 4-0 on Monday night in a game right winger Brendan Gallagher called “one of the worst of my career” afterward. The Canadiens had won six of their previous eight games, they were rested but were outshot 35-22 by a Bruins team playing the second of back-to-back games.Article continues below ...Every team has off nights but Montreal has had a season-long struggle of scoring with the man advantage. The Canadiens haven’t had a power-play goal in their last 25 chances and have only scored 14 all season.“It’s just the little things,” Gallagher told Sportsnet after Monday’s loss. “We have to win puck battles. It’s not a strategic problem. It’s just work ethic Kevin Shattenkirk Jersey
, compete. We have to find a way to get the puck. We didn’t have enough control of the puck in the zone to put into practice anything that we’ve worked on or talked about. It’s as simple as that. It’s not strategic.”Colorado’s issues might be more strategic than anything. The Avalanche were one of the top penalty-killing teams in the first two months but have struggled lately. They have allowed at least one power-play goal in six of the last seven games, including two to the New York Islanders on Monday.Colorado (18-10-6) has gone 1-3-1 in its last five games and has allowed seven power-play goals in that stretch.“It looks to me like we’re just not as quick as we were earlier,” Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said after Monday’s loss. “We had some problems with clears for a while but that wasn’t a problem tonight. They score on a flank shot. We’re not blocking enough shots; we’re not in the shooting lanes enough. That’s two of the last three that have come from the flank on one-timers. We’re taking too many penalties, too.”Coaches claim the goaltender is the team’s best penalty killer and the Avalanche haven’t gotten that from No. 1 stopper Semyon Varlamov. He has allowed 21 goals in his last five starts and was pulled from two of those games.His goals-against average over the last five games is 5.32, but he won’t get the chance to improve on that Wednesday. Philipp Grubauer will start in net against Montreal.Colorado is also expected to get back forward Alexander Kerfoot after a four-game absence with an upper-body injury.“It looks like he should be good to play,” Bednar told hockeybuzz.com after Tuesday’s practice. “I just have to get confirmation (from the medical staff) that he’s in for sure.”The Canadiens made a roster move ahead of their six-game road trip with the recall of 20-year-old defenseman Victor Mete. Mete played 23 games before being sent to the AHL to build his confidence after some struggles.Montreal sent Noah Juulsen down to make room for Mete.