RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Things are looking up again for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Fredrik Modin had a goal and two assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night, their third win in four games after a six-game losing streak earlier this month.
Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards each added a goal and an assist for the Lightning, while Vaclav Prospal also had an assist to push his points streak to 13 games.
With its second victory of the season over Carolina, Tampa Bay moved within six points of the first-place Hurricanes in the Southeast Division. Both games have been by 5-2 scores.
It was Tampa Bay's first road win since beating Atlanta on Oct. 29.
``It's a division game, it's a team that's in front of us and we're chasing,'' Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. ``Coming in here, into their building, and grabbing a couple of points is very important.''
Justin Williams scored both goals for the Hurricanes, who lost for just the second time in 10 home games. The Hurricanes played without several key players who are sidelined with injuries, including captain Rod Brind'Amour, who missed his third straight game with a groin injury.
The Hurricanes also were without center Josef Vasicek (left knee injury) and defensemen Glen Wesley (groin) and Niclas Wallin (left wrist). All three are on the injured reserve list, with Wallin having surgery Saturday.
The Lightning had not played since Thursday and looked like the fresher team, taking a 29-22 edge on shots against a Carolina team coming off a 4-3 loss to the Rangers in New York on Saturday.
``We came out the first two periods and were slugging it out,'' Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. ``We were just climbing that hill all night.''
The Lightning had lost five straight road games - four coming during that six-game skid - and led just 3-2 entering the final period Sunday. But Tampa Bay scored the last two goals against a team that had outscored opponents 30-14 in the third period this season.
``We had those six games we couldn't win, and right now I think we have pretty good momentum,'' Lecavalier said. ``We've got to keep going.''
Lecavalier put the Lightning ahead to stay with a power-play goal early in the second period, and Ruslan Fedotenko followed with an even-strength goal about 2 minutes later to push the lead to 3-1.
Williams - who beat John Grahame on a breakaway opportunity at 1:27 of the second - cut it to 3-2 when he scored on a penalty shot. After he was taken down by Dan Boyle on a Tampa Bay power play, Williams skated to his left and beat Grahame to the upper right corner of the net for the short-handed goal.
But Carolina got no closer. Martin St. Louis scored his seventh goal of the season at 5:44 of the third, taking a pass from Richards along the boards and beating Cam Ward with a short shot from the left side for a 4-2 lead.
Modin added an insurance goal on the power play less than 2 minutes later. Lecavalier corralled a puck that ricocheted off the boards behind the net and sent it into the crease, where Modin poked it past Ward at 7:30 of the period.
Notes: Carolina's Frantisek Kaberle assisted on Williams' first goal for his 100th NHL assist. ... Left winger Andrew Ladd, the fourth overall pick in the 2004 draft, saw his first NHL action for Carolina after being recalled from Lowell of the AHL. He had a shot in 14:06 of ice time. ... The RBC Center hosted two college basketball games Sunday afternoon, ending with North Carolina State's 73-57 win against Delaware in the Hispanic College Fund Classic. Workers then cleaned the arena, took up the basketball hardwood and adjusted seating for hockey in 1 hour, 45 minutes - a facility record for shortest turnaround time.