TAMPA, Fla. – Rod Brind’Amour has been playing in the NHL for about as long as Drayson Bowman has been alive.
The two teamed up to score a pair of goals apiece in Carolina’s 8-5 win Tuesday night over the Tampa Bay Lightning. For Bowman, the goals were the first of his NHL career. “It was obviously a dream to score the first one,” Bowman said. “You don’t know quite when or how its going to come, but it really feels good.”
Eric Staal also scored two goals for the Hurricanes while Steven Stamkos scored his team-leading 47th for the Lightning, keeping him one behind NHL leaders Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.
Brind’Amour, who made his debut in the 1989 playoffs, scored both of his goals during a five-goal first period for Carolina. It was the 39-year-old centre’s first multi-goal game of the season.
Jussi Jokinen added another to chase Lightning goalie Antero Niittymaki. Carolina had 23 shots in the period.
Brandon Bochenski scored twice for the Lightning and Andrej Meszaros added a goal and an assist.
Brind’Amour gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead when Sergei Samsonov found the former captain alone in front of the net with Niittymaki out of position.
His second goal, a tip in off of a feed from Bryan Rodney, gave the Hurricanes a 4-1 lead.
Brind’Amour “played pretty darn well for a little while,” Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. “I think his linemates had a lot to do with it. As a group they were pretty darn good.”
Staal scored both of his goals in the second period, the latter on a breakaway past backup goalie Mike Smith to give the Hurricanes a 7-2 lead. He assisted on Jokinen’s goal and an empty-netter by Chad Larose to end the game.
Jokinen’s goal was the one that ended Niittymaki’s night, with 18 saves on 23 shots.
“To put it mildly, the first period was pretty tough to watch,” Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. “I feel sorry for the fans on this one.”
Notes: Carolina goalie Manny Legace skated off the ice midway through the second period with an undisclosed injury and is listed day-to-day. … Lightning C Zenon Konopka had two fights and set the team record for penalty minutes in a season with 260.