Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Staal posted a goal and one assist while Jordan Staal contributed a pair of helpers to Carolina's 4-2 decision over Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Nathan Gerbe, Justin Faulk and Jiri Tlusty also lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, who have won three in a row. Anton Khudobin won thanks to a 28- save effort.
"Before the game I was preparing myself to have fun. It's fun to play against really good teams," said Khudobin.
Cedric Paquette and Brian Boyle supplied offense for the Lightning, who were denied a season-series sweep. Ben Bishop took the loss after stopping only 18 pucks.
Tlusty beat Bishop from the left side off a 2-on-1 rush and pass from Faulk before eight minutes elapsed in the third and the hosts were on top by a 4-2 count.
Khudobin preserved the winning margin with eight saves in the final 20 minutes, as the Lightning couldn't generate quality chances with Bishop on the bench for an extra skater in the final two-plus minutes.
Eric Staal scored just 22 seconds after the opening faceoff with an assist from brother Jordan, who stripped the puck from Tampa captain Steven Stamkos at the right-wing boards near the blue line.
"You come out and give a goal up in the first 20 seconds of the game, unacceptable, and it���s basically an own goal," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.
It was 2-0 for Carolina at 6:05, when a shot by Brett Bellemore from the right point bounced off the end boards and Gerbe potted the carom from the left side.
Tampa got one back when Paquette crashed the crease and swept home a Jonathan Drouin rebound with 5:55 left in the first.
Faulk's point shot through traffic on a power play at 8:27 of the second restored the Hurricanes' two-goal margin, before Boyle's short-handed breakaway made it a one-goal game once more inside of six minutes to play.
Carolina improved to 7-2-1 in January ... Tampa Bay collected its fifth short- handed goal of the season thanks to Boyle, and is tied with three other clubs for the fourth-most in the NHL ... Before the game, the Hurricanes recalled defenseman Ryan Murphy from Charlotte of the AHL.