Lightning survive Hurricanes on Barclay Goodrow’s winner in Game 1

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Barclay Goodrow had the winning goal in the Lightning’s 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in their second-round series opener Sunday night. And whether he was trying or not, he should also be scoring a Jeep endorsement deal.

After Goodrow returned to the Lightning lineup and helped fuel Tampa Bay’s first-round-clinching win over Florida, Lightning coach Jon Cooper likened Goodrow to a Jeep, saying you can’t only have Ferraris. You also need a dependable 4-by-4 to get you through the mud.

Goodrow is fine doing the dirty work.

“I’ll take it,” Goodrow said of the comparison. “I think they’re pretty reliable cars. I know their resale value is pretty good. They hold up in all conditions, so I’ll take it.”

Goodrow isn’t known for lighting the lamp. He provides defense, he registers hits, he kills penalties. But when Carolina was determined to stop the Lightning’s fleet of sports cars, taking away space from the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos, it was Goodrow who gave the Lightning the horsepower they needed to pull out a Game 1 win at PNC Arena.

Goodrow’s even-strength goal with 7:21 left in the third period broke a 1-1 tie. It was a product of the blue-collar work that has made Goodrow and his linemates such a big part of the team’s success dating back to the team’s Stanley Cup run in last season’s Canadian bubbles.

“They’re just hounding packs and creating turnovers and going hard to the net,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “The puck had eyes, obviously, but good things happen when you shoot the puck. That was a good example of it. They’re very important to our team, obviously, and it feels good to have Goody back and back on that line.”

Blake Coleman’s check on Warren Foegele in the neutral zone jarred the puck loose, and Hedman flicked it forward to Goodrow, who spun around and fed Coleman along the far boards. As he was about to take a hit from Jani Hakanpaa, Coleman gave the puck back to Goodrow, who found open space streaking through the left circle.

Out of the corner of his eye, Goodrow saw Yanni Gourde trailing along the near side, and he made a nice move to turn the corner on Carolina defenseman Brady Skjei. While skating toward the end line, Goodrow sent a snap shot to the net, and it found a hole short side past Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.

“Colesy made a nice play on the boards to win that battle, and the puck came to me,” Goodrow said. “I saw Gordo drive to the net, so I was really just looking to get the puck on net, maybe create a rebound for him, and it just found a way to go in.”

When he came to the Lightning in last year’s deadline deal with San Jose, Goodrow saw the skill and talent around him and settled into his role as a physical third-line player. But he does all the little things well, and those who follow the game know he’s performed on big stages before: He sent the Sharks to the second round of the playoffs two postseasons ago with a Game 7 overtime goal.

“In a tight game, he’s out there and he makes a goal happen,” defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. “We’ve got the lead, he’s out there defending. He sacrifices his body, he’s willing to block shots, we all feed off that. Secondly, he’s got some undercover skill around the net front there, and that chemistry with that line to be offensive has come up in situations time and time again. So, I think he’s just such a versatile player, and ever since he’s joined our team, he’s just so trusted in any situation throughout the game.”

Carolina fed off the energy of an announced crowd of 16,299 Caniacs waving white rally towels. The game remained scoreless after a first period that saw the Hurricanes control the pace and zone play. Andrei Vasilevskiy kept Tampa Bay in the game by making 15 of his 38 saves in the opening period.

The Lightning took a 1-0 lead on Point’s goal 8:15 into the second on Tampa Bay’s first power-play opportunity.

Carolina tied the game early in the third, taking advantage of a tripping call on Coleman with 12 seconds left in the second. Defenseman Jake Bean’s shot from the point seemingly had eyes, rising past Anthony Cirelli and beating Vasilevskiy stick side over his right shoulder.

• • •

Sign up for Lightning Strikes, a weekly newsletter from Bolts beat writer Eduardo A. Encina that brings you closer to the ice.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting