Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lightning beat Carolina, get first win of season

Ryan Malone's three goals, plus Antero Niittymaki's 24 saves, led the Tampa Bay Lightning to their first win of the new NHL season, 5-2 over the Carolina Hurricanes in front of 14,212 fans at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

Carolina grabbed the lead at the 12:42 mark of the second period, on a power play goal by Eric Staal. The Lightning responded by scoring twice in the next minute. Paul Ranger snapped home a wrister at 13:24, then Malone got his first at 13:39. The Hurricanes would tie the game 2-2 after two, on a Rob Brind'Amour power play goal at 17:28.

Tampa Bay dominated the third, scoring three times on 11 shots. Malone scored on a wrister at 10:46, Steve Downie scored a power play goal on a tip shot and Malone rounded out his hat trick with an unassisted empty net goal at 18:44.

The Lightning outshot Carolina 39-26. Niittymaki had the previously mentioned 24 saves, while Cam Ward stopped 34 pucks for the Canes. Tampa Bay was 1-for-6 on the power play, Carolina was 2-for-5.

The Lightning, now 1-1-2 on the year, host the Florida Panthers Monday night at 7:30p.m. EDT. 620 WDAE has the radio call, Sun Sports the telecast. The Panthers, 3-2 losers to New Jersey tonight, are 1-3-0. The Hurricanes, now 2-3-0, are off until Wednesday, returning home to face Pittsburgh.

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