Stamkos notches hat trick as Lighting thump 'CanesJan 1, 2012 - 5:30 AM
Steve Downie added a goal and two assists for the Lightning, who have won three in a row and five of seven.
"There's a lot of teams ahead of us and the only way to catch them is to keep winning," said Stamkos.
Teddy Purcell also lit the lamp, while Martin St. Louis and Ryan Malone each posted three helpers to back a 24-save performance by Mathieu Garon.
Jay Harrison and Justin Faulk scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost two of three.
Cam Ward was dented for all five goals on 32 shots.
With the score tied at 2-2, Stamkos finished the trifecta during a man advantage at the 43-second mark of the third period, when his rising blast from the left circle from a St. Louis dish sailed by Ward over his shoulder on the far side.
Tampa took a 4-2 lead just 22 seconds later when Purcell blew past three defenders on the left wing, cut in and beat Ward over his glove.
Downie provided a three-goal bulge prior to the seven-minute mark when his wrister landed just under the crossbar from between the circles.
"You need to be ready to play three periods," Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller said. "Tampa was ready in the third and we weren't. They outplayed us."
Stamkos potted a St. Louis feed off a 2-on-1 rush at 3:22 of the opening period, but Faulk's power-play score with 3:48 to play evened things at the intermission.
Carolina took a 2-1 lead on a power play as Harrison wristed home an Eric Staal dish from the right side at 4:29 of the second period, but Stamkos tied the game at 8:17 by snaking his way through the middle of the ice and lifting a shot over Ward.
Stamkos collected his fifth career hat trick, with his previous one coming in a 5-4 win at Chicago on November 4...St. Louis posted his 500th career assist on Stamkos' final goal...During the game, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman revealed that defenseman Victor Hedman is out indefinitely with a concussion...Staal recorded two assists in defeat.
- CAROLINA: 2
TAMPA BAY: 5
Dec 31 7:41 PM
- Zac Dalpe backhand shot is wide.
Hurricanes 2, Lightning 5 3rd - 10:45Dec 31 7:21 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Dominic Moore (4), from Vincent Lecavalier at 7:52.
Hurricanes 2, Lightning 6 3rd - 12:08Dec 31 7:16 PM
- Brandon Sutter wrist shot on Mathieu Garon.
Hurricanes 2, Lightning 5 3rd - 12:54Dec 31 7:15 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Teddy Purcell (7), at 1:05.
Hurricanes 2, Lightning 4 3rd - 18:55Dec 31 7:02 PM
- Tampa Bay Power-Play Goal - Steven Stamkos (26), at :43.
Hurricanes 2, Lightning 3 3rd - 19:17Dec 31 7:00 PM
- CAROLINA: 2
TAMPA BAY: 2
End of 2nd
Dec 31 6:42 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Steven Stamkos (25), from Martin St. Louis at 8:17.
Hurricanes 2, Lightning 2 2nd - 11:43Dec 31 6:19 PM
- Carolina Power-Play Goal - Jay Harrison (3), from Eric Staal and Jamie McBain at 4:29.
Hurricanes 2, Lightning 1 2nd - 15:31Dec 31 6:10 PM
- CAROLINA: 1
TAMPA BAY: 1
End of 1st
Dec 31 5:44 PM
- Carolina Power-Play Goal - Justin Faulk (2), from Drayson Bowman at 16:12.
Hurricanes 1, Lightning 1 1st - 3:48Dec 31 5:38 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Steven Stamkos, from Martin St. Louis at 3:22.
Hurricanes 0, Lightning 1 1st - 16:38Dec 31 5:16 PM
- CAROLINA: 0
TAMPA BAY: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Dec 31 5:08 PM
- Penguins starting G Fleury in Game 5 May 23
- Penguins remove G Murray after second period May 23
- Johnson's OT deflection lifts Lightning over Penguins 4-3 May 23
- Lightning-Penguins Preview May 21
- Murray or Fleury? Penguins weighing options in goal May 21
- Friday's Sports In Brief May 21
- Lightning beat Penguins 4-3, even Eastern Conference finals May 21
- Penguins find higher gear against Lightning in East finals May 20
- Penguins-Lightning Preview May 19
- Crosby, Kessel help Penguins beat Lightning 4-2 in Game 3 May 19
- Confident Lightning feel Penguins haven't see their best May 18
- Penguins-Lightning Preview May 17