Carolina at Tampa Bay

Hurricanes 4, Lightning 1 wire reports

TAMPA, Fla. -- Ray Whitney got something more important than a hat trick. He keyed a divisional win for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Whitney scored twice and had an assist in the third period, and Cam Ward made 29 saves to lead the Hurricanes past the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Saturday.

"This team has been a problem for us," Whitney said. "I think patience was what won it for us. We didn't force too many things."

Tampa Bay had won 13 of the previous 20 games between the teams.

Whitney gave Carolina a 2-1 lead with a goal from the left circle during a delayed penalty call at 9:31 of the third. The left winger, who has a three-game goal streak, added an empty-netter with one minute left.

Andrew Ladd and Eric Staal, who had an empty-net goal with 2.8 seconds to play, also scored for the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes. Carolina is 3-4 in its past seven games.

Whitney passed up a chance for his third goal when he set up Staal's late goal.

"For me, it doesn't matter," Whitney said. "Staal, I thought he played an unbelievable game."

Martin St. Louis scored for Tampa Bay. Rookie Karri Ramo, who beat Toronto 2-1 in his first NHL start Thursday, stopped 33 of 35 shots.

"You've got a kid, who's playing (strong) in net, you've got young defensemen who are getting run all over the place by a quick Carolina team. I'm disappointed in the core," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "I didn't like anything about our third period. That falls on the core. No one else. I'm totally disgusted as far as what happened there."

The Lightning have scored two goals or less in seven of nine games. Tampa Bay had four shots, but failed to score during a long 5-on-3 power play in the second.

"It always does change momentum," Hurricane left wing Cory Stillman said. "If you don't score 5-on-3, it ends usually costing you a hockey game, especially in a tied game or even if you're up by one."

St. Louis put the Lightning up 1-0 just 23 seconds in. Ward stopped St. Louis' shot from the left circle, but the rebound hit Hurricanes defenseman Glen Wesley in the back and trickled into the net.

Wesley nearly tied it midway through the first, but his shot hit the crossbar. The Hurricanes pulled even at 1 when Ladd scored a rebound goal with 1:56 left in the period.

Tampa Bay had a goal disallowed after a video replay with 1:09 left in the second. The replay showed that Mathieu Darche used a kicking motion to put a rebound of Vincent Lecavalier's shot into the net.

The Hurricanes almost grabbed a one-goal advantage in the final seconds of the second, but Erik Cole hit the post on his rebound try.

Carolina center Brandon Nolan, the son of New York Islanders coach Ted Nolan, had an assist in his NHL debut. The Hurricanes said Nolan is the 15th son in league history to play a game in the same season that his father served as a head coach.

"I tried to get some quick updates in-between periods, and when I heard he got an assist I was real proud of him, just like how any father would be," Ted Nolan said after the Islanders' home victory over Washington. "He's spent a few years in the minors and earned his chance to play in the NHL, and I'm glad he's making the most of his opportunity."


Wesley played in his 1,416 NHL game, moving him into a seventh-place among defensemen with Hall of Famer Al MacInnis. ... Tampa Bay C Craig MacDonald didn't play, two days after being struck in the mouth by a shot taken by Toronto's Hal Gill. MacDonald broke nine teeth and needed over 50 stitches for cuts on his tongue and inside his mouth. ... Hurricanes RW Craig Adams served the second and final game of a suspension for a high-sticking incident last Tuesday. ... Carolina D Mike Commodore sat out with a left foot injury. ... Tampa Bay C Chris Gratton (hip) returned after missing three games.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Carolina  (19-15-3) «1034
Tampa Bay (15-18-3)1001
Three Stars
R. Whitney

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
C. Ward

Saves: 29
Save Pct.: .967
M. St. Louis

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
23.0Martin St. Louis (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Brad Richards, Shane O'Brien
18:04Andrew Ladd (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Matt Cullen, Brandon Nolan
09:31Ray Whitney (17), Slap Shot. Assist: Cory Stillman, Frantisek Kaberle
19:00Ray Whitney (18), Empty Net. Assist: Scott Walker
19:57Eric Staal (17), Empty Net. Assist: Ray Whitney, Bret Hedican
Penalty Summary
05:21O'Brien, 2 min, Tripping
06:27Seidenberg, 2 min, Slashing
07:22Brind'Amour, 2 min, Hooking
09:08Gratton, 2 min, Slashing
19:52O'Brien, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
Tampa Bay1015530
Cam Ward59:54291
Karri Ramo59:07332
Game Information
Attendance - 18765
Referees - Rob Martell, Tim Peel
Linesmen - Jonny Murray, Tony Sericolo
Other Games
Mon 2 Final
Atl 3
Chi 4 Final
Ott 3
Ana 5 Final
SJ 2
Wash 2 Final
Det 4 Final
Min 1
Van 2 Final
Pho 1
Tor 2 Final
Fla 1
StL 4 Final
Bos 1
Buf 6 Final
Phi 5
LA 3 Final
Nash 4