Elias Lindholm scored 49 seconds into overtime as the Carolina Hurricanes prevented the Tampa Bay Lightning from clinching first place in the Atlantic Division by winning 3-2 in the regular-season finale for both teams Saturday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.
By adding one point, Tampa Bay has 113 points, and the Boston Bruins have 112. But Boston will win the Atlantic Division title if it defeats the Florida Panthers on Sunday night.
The Hurricanes concluded the season with a 36-35-11 record, marking the ninth straight year they failed to qualify for the playoffs. That’s the longest active drought in the NHL.
Jordan Staal and Justin Williams scored in regulation for Carolina. Teuvo Teravainen assisted on the winning goal for his 64th point of the season, one off the team-leading total held by Sebastian Aho.
It was Lindholm’s first goal since Feb. 6.
Goalie Cam Ward made 32 saves. Ward, who like teammate Scott Darling played in 43 games this season, finished with a 23-14-4 record.
Ryan Callahan and Ondrej Palat scored for the Lightning (54-23-5), which dropped to 12-5 in games decided in overtime this season.
Goalie Louis Domingue made 39 saves for Tampa Bay, which won three of its previous four games.
Staal was credited with a goal 19 seconds into the game when the puck bounced off the skate of Palat, a left winger.
Williams scored an incredibly tough-angled shot for Carolina’s second goal. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper used a challenge to claim goaltender interference earlier in the scoring sequence, but that was denied through video review.
Phillip Di Giuseppe notched assists on the first two Carolina goals.
Williams is one of four Carolina players to appear in all 82 games this season. Left winger Brock McGinn, who played in 80 games, missed the finale because of a concussion, while center Nicolas Roy was in the lineup for his NHL debut.
Callahan’s fifth goal of the season came 3:30 into the second period. But Ward was up to the task on a few other scoring chances for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay won the two previous matchups with Carolina this season.
—Field Level Media