NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Tampa Bay
(Thursday, January 12th)
Final Score: Carolina 5, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Jiri Tlusty tallied twice in a four-goal first period, as Carolina took down Tampa Bay, 5-2.
Tuomo Ruutu added a goal and two assists to post a season-high three points for the Hurricanes, who had lost four of five coming in.
Eric Staal notched three helpers to back a 34-save performance by Cam Ward.
"We basically owed them from last time," Tlusty said. "We didn't show our game the last time we were here, so we had it in our minds. We put the puck in behind their defense, and worked their defense, so that gave us the opportunity to score and we capitalized."
Nate Thompson and Teddy Purcell hit the net for the Lightning, losers of five straight contests.
Starter Mathieu Garon was pulled after yielding three goals on eight shots in less than one period. Dwayne Roloson finished up by allowing two scores on 24 shots.
Carolina pumped home two goals in a 74-second span early on, as Ruutu tapped in a Staal feed at 3:27 and Tlusty doubled the visitors' edge at 4:41 on a one-timer from between the circles.
Thompson picked up an errant clearing pass at center, rolled in alone and beat Ward to the backhand with 5:24 left in the first, but Jay Harrison's floater from the left boards made it 3-1 just 34 seconds later.
Garon then gave way to Roloson but the Hurricanes put one more in the net before period's end, at 16:18, as Staal moved through the Tampa zone, and backhanded a pass which Tlusty tapped in a second ahead of the net coming off its moorings.
Purcell got the Bolts back within two at 2:49 of the second period as he knocked in a feed by Bruno Gervais from the right side, but Carolina netted the clincher late in the third.
Anthony Stewart won a battle for a loose puck along the boards near center, then dished ahead for Brent, who walked in and rang a shot off the right post and in with 6:19 to play.
"I would say that this is the hardest loss to take this year," Lightning head coach Guy Boucher admitted. "We just can't have that."
Staal's three assists were a season high, and comprised his ninth multi-point effort of the season...Carolina did not have a single player voted to the upcoming All-Star Game, while Tampa Bay saw just forward Steven Stamkos invited into its ranks...The Hurricanes host Boston on Saturday, and the Lightning travel to Washington on Friday...Prior to the game, the Hurricanes recalled defenseman Derek Joslin from Charlotte of the AHL.
01/13 00:16:56 ET