The Carolina Hurricanes jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and held on the rest of the way to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2 on Sunday evening in front of 19,204 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Alexander Semin scored just 16 seconds into the game and Jiri Tlusty lit the lamp twice as the first line for Carolina dominated early.
Dan Ellis made 35 saves and was very busy in the third period to hold on to the win for the Canes.
Eric Staal stole the puck from behind the Lightning net and found Semin cutting to the goal to open the scoring. Semin finished with a three point night as he also earned assists on Tlusty's two goals later in the period.
Tlusty scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season, a career best for him.
The Lightning would make things interesting when they scored a powerplay goal midway through the second period on a Steven Stamkos goal. At 2:06 into the third period, Martin St. Louis scored off of a faceoff to make it 3-2 and the Bolts smelled blood.
The home team poured it on and outshot the visitors 16-4 in the third period, but Ellis made the saves he needed to, when he needed to, and the Canes held on to earn their third win in their last 20 games.
Next up for Carolina will be the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.