Reimer’s 36 saves lead Hurricanes over Lightning

Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho scores past Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney while defended by Luke Schenn during Carolina’s 3-2 win Saturday in Tampa Bay. (Chris O’Meara / AP Photo)

TAMPA, Fla. — James Reimer didn’t get his second consecutive shutout. He settled for a strong outing against high-powered Tampa Bay.

Reimer made 36 saves, Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin each had a goal and an assist, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Lightning 3-2 on Saturday night.

Reimer made an outstanding save midway through the first, kicking his leg into the air while on his side on a close-in shot by Yanni Gourde.

“Pure fluke, I think, really,” Reimer said. “I just threw up a prayer and a leg, and luckily it hit me.”

Reimer was close by in the locker room postgame when a smiling Slavin said the goalie was “just laying there, flopping like a fish, but he got it done.”

“Desperation save,” Slavin said. “Goaltenders, they’re pretty good at that sometimes.”

Reimer, coming off a 19-save shutout over Detroit on Nov. 24, also made a nifty glove stop on Tyler Johnson’s close-in try and Ondrej Palat’s shot during a 2-on-1 in the second.

Carolina also got a goal from Jordan Martinook. Dougie Hamilton had two assists.

Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning, who have lost three straight (0-2-1). Curtis McElhinney stopped 21 shots.

“It starts in the room with us as players and it starts with myself as a leader,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “I have to do a better job of trying to lead the way early in games.”

Stamkos had eight shots on goal but also sent a point-blank shot in the second over the net with Reimer down.

Aho started the Hurricanes’ three-goal first period at 4:49, poking the puck in from along the goal line. Ten of Aho’s 13 goals have come in November.

Martinook stopped a 25-game goal drought skating alone down the slot and scoring at 7:30.

Slavin got his first goal in 24 games, making it 3-0, with a waist-high deflection of Aho’s shot with 6.7 seconds left.

“I think it’s super important to get rewarded for a good period,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Obviously, the goalie made the difference here tonight but everyone contributed.”

Point made it 3-1 with a power-play goal 3:26 into the third when he sent the puck toward the crease and it went off Hamilton’s stick.

Point has six goals in his last six games. Nikita Kucherov assisted on the goal and has seven assists and 10 points during a five-game point streak.

Johnson got Tampa Bay within 3-2 at 8:50 as he snapped an 11-game scoreless streak.

The Lightning had a 13-game point streak (11-0-2) against Carolina stopped.

“We’re going to find a way to win some hockey games and this is the group that’s going to it,” Gourde said.

NOTES: Tampa Bay D Erik Cernak returned after serving a two-game suspension for elbowing Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin in the face on Monday. … Hurricanes C Martin Necas sat out with a lower-body injury. … Lightning D Braydon Coburn (lower body), hurt Friday, is out indefinitely. … Tampa Bay LW Alex Killorn (lower body) was scratched and is day to day.

Up Next

Hurricanes: Complete a two-game trip Tuesday night at Boston.

Lightning: Play at Nashville on Tuesday night.