NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Tampa Bay
(Saturday, October 10th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Carolina 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Ryan Malone recorded his third career hat trick, and the Tampa Bay Lightning took a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes to snap a pair of losing streaks.
Entering Saturday's contest, Tampa Bay had lost 12 in a row overall dating back to last season, as well as eight in a row against Carolina.
But the Lightning got goals from Steve Downie and Paul Ranger in addition to Malone's three-score game to take their first win since March 24. Tampa, which lost to Carolina in a shootout Tuesday, also got its first victory over the Hurricanes since March 29, 2008.
Antero Niittymaki made 24 saves in the win, his first with Tampa Bay after being signed in the off-season from Philadelphia.
"I think we played our best game so far this season," Niittymaki said.
Rod Brind'Amour and Eric Staal had the goals for Carolina, which was coming off a seven-goal performance against Florida on Friday. Cam Ward allowed four goals on 38 shots in the loss.
"He played really well, he's been solid for us all year," Staal said of Ward. "We had them 2-2 going into the third. On the road, we were where we wanted to be. We just weren't able to get the next one and give one up, and two, it's a tough hole to come out of."
In a 2-2 game after two periods, Tampa Bay pulled away with a pair of goals in the third. Malone tallied his second at 10:46, and with seven minutes to go Downie notched a power-play tally.
Malone's empty-net score with 1:16 left completed his hat trick and the Tampa Bay win.
After more than half the game elapsed without a goal, Staal got Carolina on the board with 7:18 left in the second period with a wraparound power-play goal.
Just 42 seconds later, Ranger's blast from the left point found its way through a host of Carolina bodies into the net. Malone followed with a backhander from in front only 15 seconds after Ranger's tally to give the Lightning a 2-1 edge.
Carolina went on the power play later in the period, and Brind'Amour evened the game after scooping up a loose puck in the slot and backhanding it past Niittymaki with 2:32 left.
Malone's other two hat tricks came during the 2006-07 season, when he was with Pittsburgh. They came on December 15 and February 19 of that season, both vs. the Islanders...Tampa was 1-for-6 on the man advantage, while Carolina went 2- for-5...Martin St. Louis and Mattias Ohlund each had two assists for the Lightning.
10/11 00:14:44 ET