Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn went beast mode against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday evening. Killorn recorded his first career NHL Gordie Howe hat trick in a 3-2 victory, which included a monster sequence in the final period.
It was a huge Central Division rivalry game between the Lightning and Canes at Amalie Arena on Monday. The two powerhouses are separated by only two points in the standings and are chasing that coveted first-place finish.
Killorn opened the scoring in the first period when he undressed netminder Petr Mrazek with a beautiful deke on a breakaway.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) April 19, 2021
Killorn later laid a devastating open-ice hit on Carolina forward Martin Necas in the third period before answering the bell and fighting defenseman Jake Gardiner. Killorn handled Gardiner with ease and fired up the crowd in attendance before stepping off the ice.
This sequence from Alex Killorn…huge hit on Martin Necas, fights Jake Gardiner and then fires up the crowd pic.twitter.com/UZDwvCgelK
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) April 20, 2021
Here’s a closer look at the hit. You can decide for yourself if this warranted a penalty call. There was no penalty called on the play.
Necas to the locker room after this hit from Killorn pic.twitter.com/lLIz7YQ4BK
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 20, 2021
The good news for Necas is he was able to return to the game shortly after being helped off the ice. You also have to feel for his teammate Gardiner, who set Necas up with a suicide pass and then felt obligated to defend him by fighting Killorn.
Killorn wasn’t done there, however, as he went on to assist Yanni Gourde on the OT winner to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick. The goal gave Tampa Bay its fourth win in six games and propelled them within one point of the Hurricanes for the division lead.
Killorn continue to be a reliable producer in his seventh season with the Bolts. The Harvard graduate has tallied 12 goals and 27 points through 45 contests.
It was simply a monster night for Killorn, who lived up to his nickname “Killer” in one of the biggest rivalry games of the season.