Stamkos leads Lightning to 5-2 win over Hurricanes
- Associated Press
- February 23, 2013 - 8:58 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. - Steven Stamkos scored and had an assist in a four-goal third period that sent the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
Benoit Pouliot, Tom Pyatt and Richard Panik had the other third-period goals for the Lightning, who snapped a first-place tie with the Hurricanes atop the Southeast Division. Marc-Andre Bergeron scored in the first to help Tampa Bay win for the third time in four games following a six-game winless streak.
Mathieu Garon made 32 saves for his second victory of the season. The first came on Jan. 22 against Carolina. Garon has allowed three goals in two games against the Hurricanes and 12 in his other three starts.
Chad LaRose and Drayson Bowman scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost three consecutive games after a 5-0-1 stretch this month. Dan Ellis made 34 saves.
Carolina was without injured regulars Tim Gleason (lower body), Joni Pitkanen (lower body), Jeff Skinner (concussion) and Jamie McBain (upper body).
Tampa Bay opened the scoring midway through the first period when Bergeron surprised Ellis with a wrist shot from long distance. Bergeron has a point in three of his last four games.
Vincent Lecavalier set up Pouliot early in the third period, holding off Carolina rookie defenseman Ryan Murphy and centering the puck through the crease to Pouliot, who converted into the open net.
After Bowman brought Carolina within one by one-timing Riley Nash's pass past Garon, Panik gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead with his first career goal. The rookie made his NHL debut on Feb. 12 against Montreal.
Pyatt then gave Tampa Bay a three-goal edge 7:55 into the third period, 18 seconds after Panik's tally.
LaRose and Stamkos traded goals in the game's final 4 minutes.
The Lightning improved to 6-1-0 this season against teams in the Southeast Division. Tampa Bay is also 5-1-1 in its last seven at Carolina, including two wins this season.
The Hurricanes are 0-4-0 against the Southeast Division.
NOTES: Carolina's Kevin Westgarth played in his 100th game. ... Tampa Bay couldn't score on its three power-play chances and has converted only three of its last 32 opportunities despite ranking fifth in the NHL on the power play. ... The Lightning are 8-0-0 when leading after the first period. ... Carolina's Alexander Semin left in the second period after a puck hit him in the side of the face, but he returned soon after.
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