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Jokinen helps 'Canes overcome Lightning

Jan 16, 2011 - 4:43 AM
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Jussi Jokinen scored two goals and collected an assist to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-4, at RBC Center.

Eric Staal registered a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, who have won four of their last five games. Erik Cole had three helpers and Cam Ward made 30 saves.

Simon Gagne lit the lamp twice for the Southeast Division-leading Lightning, who have dropped three of four. Dwayne Roloson stopped 25 shots in defeat.

Gagne scored a breakaway goal and the Lightning trailed 5-4 with 8:55 remaining in the third period. Jokinen, though, hit the empty-net in the waning moments to seal the victory, Carolina's 11th in the last 15 meetings with Tampa Bay.

"I think we deserved to have a close game because we worked hard enough, but we'd never deserve to win because we weren't smart," said Lightning head coach Guy Boucher.

Steven Stamkos netted his league-leading 33rd goal of the season to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead 1:44 into the contest. Chad LaRose countered for Carolina with his first career power-play goal three minutes later, collecting an outlet pass from Joe Corvo out of the penalty box and beating Roloson on a breakaway.

Rookie Jeff Skinner jumped on a rebound to put Carolina on top with 2:37 remaining in the opening period, but Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier drove down the middle and tapped in a Martin St. Louis feed with 22.4 seconds to go before the first intermission.

Gagne whipped a backhander past Ward to give the Lightning a 3-2 lead 62 seconds into the middle stanza, but the Hurricanes responded with consecutive power-play goals in a span of 2:12.

Jamie McBain tied it back up as he pumped home a rebound by Roloson and Jokinen scored on a two-man advantage, firing a wrister from the slot behind the Tampa Bay netminder to make it 4-3 at 6:31 of the second period.

Carolina's special teams struck again, this time while down a man as Staal slid a backhander between the pads of Roloson a little over six minutes later. It was the ninth shorthanded goal Tampa Bay has yielded this season.

"I thought our penalty killing was outstanding. Special teams was the difference in the game for us," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice.

Game Notes

Ward appeared in his 309th career game for the Hurricanes, tying Arturs Irbe for the most by a goaltender in franchise history...The Lightning had won five straight against Southeast Division opponents...Roloson remains stuck on 199 career wins.