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Johnson, Palat both score 1st NHL goals; Lightning beat Hurricanes 4-1

Saturday, 03.16.2013 / 9:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Johnson, Palat both score 1st NHL goals; Lightning beat Hurricanes 4-1

TAMPA, Fla. - Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat both scored their first NHL goals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Saturday night.

Nate Thompson and Teddy Purcell also scored for the Lightning, who stopped a five-game losing streak at home. Tampa Bay is 3-8 in its last 11 games.

Eric Staal scored the only goal for the Hurricanes, who dropped to 3-7 against fellow Southeast Division games.

Tampa Bay, with Mathieu Garon starting in goal each time, has won all three games this season against the Hurricanes. Tampa Bay has beaten three Carolina goalies — Justin Peters, Cam Ward and Dan Ellis — in the process.

Carolina claimed Adam Hall off waivers from the Lightning before the game, and the veteran forward made his Hurricanes debut against his former team.

Johnson put the Lightning ahead 1-0 when he beat Peters from the low left circle with 9:06 left in the first. Tampa Bay (12-15-1) is 11-1 when leading after one period.

After Palat scored on a redirection of Sami Salo's shot from the blue line at 6:35 of the second, Thompson made it 3-0 with 7:05 to go in the period with a breakaway goal.

Purcell scored on a breakaway to put Tampa Bay up 4-0 at 3:54 of the third.

Staal ended Garon's shutout bid during a breakaway at 6:21.

The Hurricanes have allowed at least four goals in 12 of the past 16 games against the Lightning and have a 2-8-2 mark when they do.

Garon stopped three shots by Jordan Staal in the first and second periods. Peters made a glove save on Palat's diving backhander 7 minutes into the game.

Carolina defenceman Joe Corvo left in the second because of an undisclosed lower body injury.

NOTES: The Lightning wore green warmup jerseys during the pregame skate in honour of St. Patrick's Day. ... Hurricanes D Joni Pitkanen returned after being sidelined by a lower body injury. ... Tampa Bay recalled C Dana Tyrell from Syracuse of the AHL. ... Lightning C Tom Pyatt played after missing one game due to an upper body injury.

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