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Lightning 5, Hurricanes 3 @NHLdotcom

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - John Grahame had an Olympic-quality performance in an important Tampa Bay victory.

Grahame came off the bench early in the second period to make 28 saves, and Fredrik Modin scored two goals as the Lightning beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 on Thursday night.

"Grahamer was outstanding," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "Obviously, he secured a win for us."

Grahame replaced starter Sean Burke, who allowed three goals on eight shots, after Erik Cole's goal put the Hurricanes ahead 3-2 at 4:08 of the second. The U.S. Olympic team goalie stopped 14 shots in the second and turned away Cole on a penalty shot at 11:39.

"You're just kind of thrown into the fire there and you've just got to go out and compete," Grahame said.

Modin gave Tampa Bay its first lead, at 4-3, on a rebound goal from the low slot that hit Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward with 9:48 left. Ruslan Fedotenko added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

"I fanned on the shot, but got it up there," Modin said. "It hit the defenseman and went behind him somehow. It's nice when we get the bounces."

Tampa Bay also got goals from Evgeny Artyukhin and Vinny Prospal. The defending Stanley Cup champions, 9-2-1 over the last 12 games, trail the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes by 14 points.

"We found a way ... that's what we've been doing," Lightning center Brad Richards said. "We've found ways to win, and this is the time of year you have to do it."

Ward and Anton Babchuk had the other goals for Carolina, which lost for the third time in the last 18 games. The Hurricanes fell to 26-2-0 when scoring first.

"It just wasn't meant to be," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "I can't fault the guys for the way they played the game. They came in here with a purpose and it didn't happen. It's frustrating."

Ward put Carolina up 1-0 from the top of the right circle 23 seconds into the game. Babchuk made it 2-0 on a power-play goal at 4 minutes.

Artyukhin pulled the Lightning to 2-1 at 10:45. Tampa Bay tied it at 2 on Modin's short-handed goal later in the first.

The Hurricanes regained the lead at 3-2 on Cole's goal. He raced down the left wing boards, picked up a loose puck and beat Burke from in close.

"We'll just have to cut this one off on the plane ride home and be ready to come back and play (Friday)," Cole said.

Prospal got the Lightning even again during a 5-on-3 power play at 6:43 of the second. His pass from along the goal line was redirected off the stick of Hurricanes defenseman Bret Hedican.

Carolina's Martin Gerber made 19 saves.

Notes: Cole has converted two of five penalty shots this season, while Grahame has stopped three of five. ... Hurricanes C Matt Cullen returned after missing four games with a broken jaw. ... Richards had three assists. He has six assists and nine points during a five-game point streak.

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