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Johan Holmqvist makes 31 saves as Lightning blank Hurricanes 4-0

Holmqvist made 31 saves in his first NHL shutout, as the Lightning extended their franchise-record road-winning streak to seven by routing the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 on Thursday night.

"The only thing I worry about is my game," Holmqvist said. "I just have to be aware (of) everything that's going to happen, and now the game is so quick, it could be two, three goals in a couple of minutes. But it was a good feeling for me to see that we scored a couple of goals."

Ryan Craig and Doug Janik scored four minutes apart in the second period, and Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis each scored their 32nd goal early in the third.

Holmqvist won for the eighth time in 10 starts for the Lightning, whose previous six road games were all decided by one goal.

Tampa Bay overcame a 31-20 shot disadvantage to beat the Hurricanes for the second time in 13 days.

"We've been down and come back, we've been up and given up the lead and getting 'er done in the shootout," St. Louis said. "Tonight we were able to sustain pressure and add to our lead in the third. We're just finding a way. We're not overthinking, we're not analyzing too much. We're just getting 'er done."

John Grahame stopped 16 shots against his former team, but the Hurricanes lost their third straight and fifth in six contests. They were shut out for the seventh time this season and have been outscored 15-4 in the past three games, drawing boos late in the third period.

"I think everybody's frustrated. We're not really sure what to do," Grahame said.

This matchup started out nothing like the Lightning's previous visit to Raleigh two weeks ago, when the teams combined for eight goals in the opening 32 minutes and Tampa Bay won 6-5 in a shootout.

That was the second of the Lightning's seven straight victories away from home. Four were decided by shootouts, including the three before this matchup.

"Hopefully we can figure something out and not blow our minds up about it," coach John Tortorella said. "We've just got to go out and play. The thing we've talked about is our play away from the puck. ... Just play a simple game and just try to win at turnovers and go from there."

Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead late in the second period.

Craig scored the Lightning's first goal during a power play with about five minutes left. Carolina's Glen Wesley knocked the puck from St. Louis behind the net, and Craig tracked it down near the goal. He backhanded a shot over Grahame's right shoulder and down his back for goal No. 12th this season.

"Sooner or later, you hope that we'd start to get a few of those bounces," Grahame said. "You get a funny bounce behind the net there, they go up 1-0 and it kind of steamrolls from there."

Janik made it 2-0 with 36.9 seconds remaining, finishing a scoring sequence that started when Eric Perrin brought the puck down the right side. He centred it to Janik, who was racing down the slot and beat Grahame high with a wrist shot.

Lecavalier highlighted his 600th career game with a goal about three minutes into the third period. He has goals in 10 of 13 games.

Notes: The season series is tied 3-3. ... C Tim Taylor missed his second straight game for Tampa Bay. ... D Bret Hedican returned for Carolina after a 12-game absence for finger surgery. ... Hurricanes LW Erik Cole returned after missing a game with a lower-body bruise. ... Tampa Bay had as many penalties as shots (four) in the first period. ... The Hurricanes are scheduled to visit the White House on Friday with the Stanley Cup.


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