Hurricanes Rout Lightning

Samsonov, stingy defense, doom sluggish Tampa Bay
By Mitch Pritchard,  Newser User
Posted Mar 1, 2008 10:57 PM CST
Carolina Hurricanes' Tuomo Ruutu (15), of Finland, gets a hug from teammate Eric Staal (12) following his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with teammates Frantisek Kaberle (5), of Czech Republic,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Carolina Hurricanes won for the fourth time in five games and opened a big cushion in the Southeast Division with a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, reports the Associated Press. Sergei Samsonov had two goals and Eric Staal had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, whose defense dominated.

Cam Ward had 22 saves, 18 of which came in the first two periods. The Lightning could muster only four shots in the final 20 minutes. Tampa Bay was called for five penalties in the second period, including one by Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith, who was nailed for tripping. Newly acquired Tuomo Ruutu scored his first goal for the Hurricanes, who lead Washington by five points.