Lightning pregame: Carolina Hurricanes bring their own streak to Tampa

Carolina has won five straight coming into Thursdayís game.
The Lightning takes on the Carolina Hurricanes, who Tampa Bay beat 4-2 on Oct. 16. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
The Lightning takes on the Carolina Hurricanes, who Tampa Bay beat 4-2 on Oct. 16. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published January 10
Updated January 10

TAMPA — The Lightning will be on the opposite side of the equation  tonight. It's Carolina that brings a win streak into the matchup, and Tampa Bay that could play spoiler.

The Hurricanes have won five straight, including three on the road. They have beaten Philadelphia (twice), Columbus, Ottawa and the Islanders.

In that stretch, Carolina has scored 21 goals (a high of five, twice). The Hurricanes have been spreading the scoring around, too. Justin Williams and Dougie Hamilton have three goals, three players have two.

"They're a big shot-volume team," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Their six defensemen all can play the game well and can shoot pucks. All teams have stars, and (center Sebastian Aho) is a rising star in this league."

Carolina's power play has been clicking at 41.7 percent (5-of-12). For context, only three NHL teams have ever finished the season over 30 percent.

Its penalty kill is similarly doing well, allowing only three goals on 15 penalties and notching one short-handed goal.

Cooper stressed that Carolina is a hard-working team, the kind that you have to compete against on every shift, saying it probably comes from coach Rod Brind'Amour and the way he used to play.

All of that being said, the Lightning has done well against the the Hurricanes. Tampa Bay beat Carolina 4-2 on Oct. 16 and hasn't lost since 2013.

The Hurricanes are also coming into this one at the end of a spread-out road trip, visiting Ottawa and Long Island, N.Y., before Florida.

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