Tlusty's second goal was into an empty net with 1:14 remaining.
New Jersey got two goals from Ilya Kovalchuk, including a short-handed tally, and one from Patrik Elias but that wasn't enough for the Devils to avoid their seventh loss in eight games without top goalie Martin Brodeur.
Johan Hedberg stopped only 13 of 18 Carolina shots through two periods and was replaced by Jeff Frazee to start the third.
The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.
— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres