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.
Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.
— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals