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Carolina
Hurricanes
43-33-6
Tampa Bay
Lightning
31-42-9

39 SOG
21 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CAR
TBL
game recap

Lightning 2, Hurricanes 1

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:30 AM

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't playing like a team that will miss the playoffs. Their latest victory could eventually prove costly to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Jeff Halpern scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and Karri Ramo made 38 saves to lead the Lightning past the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes 2-1 on Saturday night.

"I think this team has shown a lot of character," Halpern said. "We're not playing for the same thing the playoff teams are playing for, but it's a tribute to the guys who have been here who have pride in the organization."

Halpern gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead on a shot from the right circle 5:43 into the third period. Jussi Jokinen also scored for Tampa Bay, which is last in the Eastern Conference and won for the sixth time in its last 20 games.

"We won more battles than they did," Ramo said.

Tampa Bay has beaten Carolina and Florida, and lost in overtime to Washington in its past three games.

Chad LaRose scored for the Hurricanes, who saw their lead over second-place Washington cut to two points after the Capitals beat Florida 3-0.

"We knew the score, and obviously we were really pushing to get that next goal to try and get us back, and it just didn't happen," Carolina center Eric Staal said.

The Hurricanes and Capitals both have three games left, including a showdown Tuesday in Washington.

"We've got to come up with four points (to win the division)," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "It doesn't matter how we do it, but Tuesday night will be a big one, no question about it."

LaRose put the Hurricanes ahead 1-0 from the low slot off a pass from Trevor Letowski with 2:36 left in the first.

Jokinen tied it just 18 seconds into the second on a power play.

Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina, which lost for fourth time in 16 games.

Ramo preserved the Lightning's one-goal advantage with an in-close save on Staal with 2:10 remaining in the third.

"We had some opportunities. We just didn't bury them," Hurricanes center Jeff Hamilton said. "It was a hard-fought game, both sides. Give the goalie credit. We'll regroup."

Notes: Hurricanes D Bret Hedican (torso strain) didn't play. ... Lightning D Brad Lukowich returned after missing the previous 21 games because of a sports hernia. ... With Lukowich playing, Tampa Bay D Shane O'Brien was a healthy scratch. ... Ward started his 17th straight game. ... Lightning starting G Mike Smith was the backup after sitting out the past two games due to a sprained left knee. ... Ramo, named one of the three stars of the game, threw his stick to a fan in the stands.

scoring summary
1st Period
17:24
CAR
Chad LaRose (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Trevor Letowski (8), Tuomo Ruutu (21)
1 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
00:18
TBL
PPG - Jussi Jokinen (16) Backhand shot - ASST: Dan Boyle (20), Karri Ramo (1)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
05:43
TBL
Jeff Halpern (19) Wrist shot - ASST: Jussi Jokinen (24), Alexandre Picard (3)
2 - 1 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
03:13
TBL
Martin St. Louis  Tripping against  Frantisek Kaberle
06:21
TBL
Jason Ward  Hooking against  Eric Staal
08:54
CAR
Ryan Bayda  Hooking against  Martin St. Louis
19:38
CAR
Chad LaRose  Elbowing against  Filip Kuba
2nd Period
02:27
CAR
Tuomo Ruutu  Hi-sticking against  Mike Lundin
03:57
CAR
Ryan Bayda  Interference on goalkeeper against  Karri Ramo
04:38
TBL
Michel Ouellet  Slashing against  Eric Staal
12:26
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier  Tripping against  Niclas Wallin
17:23
CAR
Eric Staal  Hooking against  Alexandre Picard
3rd Period
01:35
CAR
Scott Walker  Slashing against  Nick Tarnasky
09:22
TBL
Michel Ouellet  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
11:50
TBL
Brad Lukowich  Roughing against  Tuomo Ruutu
17:50
TBL
Filip Kuba  Tripping against  Eric Staal
goalie stats
Cam Ward
SA: 21TOI: 58:32
Saves: 19EV: 15 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .905SH: 1 - 1
Karri Ramo
SA: 39TOI: 59:59
Saves: 38EV: 31 - 32
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .974SH: 0 - 0