Goodrow gave the defending Stanley Cup champions the advantage when he headed left against Carolina defenseman Brady Skjei, then shot from a sharp angle to the left. The puck slipped under Nedeljkovic’s right pad as she lifted slightly from the ice near the post to break the 1-1 tie.
That lead was maintained, with the Lightning fending off Carolina in the last minute with the net empty and an additional forward in a desperate attempt to equalize.
Instead, the Lightning won a road series opener for the second straight round. The Lightning swept the first two games in Florida in that six-game first-round streak.
Best of Seven Series Game 2 is Tuesday night.
Brayden Point added a second-period power-play goal for Tampa Bay, while Andrei Vasilevskiy was precise all day with 37 saves, including 15 in the first period against the Hurricanes, backed by a rowdy crowd of over 16,000. .
Jake Bean scored on the power play to equalize early in the third period for Carolina, getting his first career playoff assist. The Hurricanes, who have the edge on the ice after winning the Central Division, also got another strong performance from Nedeljkovic with 28 saves.
Tampa Bay didn’t have defenseman David Savard for this one due to an upper-body injury. Next, the Lightning saw fellow blue line Erik Cernak fall when he was sandwiched between Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov and Victor Trocheck in a collision near the boards at 6:15 p.m. of a second.
Cernak finally got up and skated slowly to the tunnel, leaving the Lightning with five defenders.
Caroline winger Nino Niederreiter was sidelined with an upper-body injury after leaving Saturday practice earlier. And that allowed Cédric Paquette to make his playoff debut for Carolina – and against his former Lightning teammates after spending 2014-2020 with the franchise.
The NHL had approved an increase in the attendance of the PNC Arena with the installation of a 500-ton cooler to increase air flow while ensuring the integrity of the ice despite the rise in outside temperatures.
Carolina had around 5,000 fans to close out the regular season, then increased that number to around 12,000 for the Nashville series after the state eased restrictions on public gathering and physical distancing. The official figure for Games 1 and 2 in this series is 16,299, or about 87% of the normal capacity of 18,680 fans in the building.
David Ayres – the Zamboni driver and kidney transplant recipient who memorably won a 2020 Toronto game for the Hurricanes as an emergency goaltender – set off the storm warning siren so that the Hurricanes take the ice for the third period.
Hurricanes TV color announcer Tripp Tracy along with North Carolina state female tennis players Jaeda Daniel and Alana Smith – who helped the Wolfpack reach the national semi-finals – set off the sirens of pre-game and the first intermission.