Lightning top Hurricanes to halt losing streak
Tampa, FL – Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat each scored their first NHL goals to help the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1.
Teddy Purcell and Nate Thompson supplied the other goals for the Lightning, who snapped a five-game losing streak at home with a third straight win over their Southeast Division rivals.
Tampa Bay goaltender Mathieu Garon made 21 saves. All three of his wins this season have come against the Hurricanes.
"That's what we need for the rest of (the season). We have to play a full 60 minutes every night," said Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman.
Justin Peters allowed four goals on 26 shots for Carolina, which has dropped two games in a row.
Johnson, playing in his second NHL game, took Alex Killorn's pass off the boards and beat Peters high glove from the left circle for the game's first tally at the 10:54 mark of the opening frame.
Tampa Bay extended its lead with two goals in the second period.
Sami Salo fired a low shot from the point that deflected in off Palat's skate at 6:35. Thompson then took a stretch pass from B.J. Crombeen, shielded the puck with his body while fighting off a hook and lifted a shot over Peters with 7:05 remaining.
Purcell whipped a backhander on a breakaway past Peters to make it 4-0 at 3:54 of the third.
Eric Staal finally solved Garon at 6:21.
"I thought we competed pretty hard. I think there's areas we can tighten up a little bit better, " Staal said.
Purcell, appearing in his 300th NHL contest, snapped a 13-game scoring drought ... Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen returned from a six-game absence due to a lower-body injury ... The Hurricanes claimed forward Adam Hall off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Hall played almost 10 minutes against his former club.