RALEIGH, North Carolina Tuomo Ruutu and Rod Brind'Amour scored shootout goals to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay and spoil new Lightning coach Rick Tocchet's debut on Sunday.
The victory ended a three-game losing streak by the Hurricanes and produced a fourth consecutive loss for the Lightning, who fired coach Barry Melrose on Friday.
"We played with a lot of emotion and that's something that we desperately needed," Carolina netminder Cam Ward, who stopped 26 shots, told reporters.
The win pulled the Hurricanes within three points of Southeast Division leader Washington and was their first shootout victory in seven attempts.
"To be able to come back, being in a hole 2-0, it's huge for us," Ward said.
Tampa Bay went up 2-0 in the second period on goals by Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier before Wade Brookbank and Brind'Amour scored for Carolina.
Brind'Amour got the equalizer 15:37 into the second, 1:18 after Brookbank scored Carolina's first goal.
"They probably weren't expecting that," Carolina's Ray Whitney told reporters after the score by Brookbank, the Hurricanes' enforcer who collected his first goal in 30 games.
"Anytime you have other people who are struggling to score you are going to need something from some unlikely people," said Whitney, the Hurricanes' leading scorer.
"To see his enthusiasm and see how much excitement that it brought to the building, maybe that's the one guy we needed to score."
Neither team found the net during the third period or overtime session.
Ruutu put the first shot of the shootout into the net against Tampa Bay netminder Mike Smith.
Lecavalier's attempt for Tampa Bay was saved by Ward. Brind'Amour then connected for Carolina and Jussi Jokinen's shot hit both posts before bouncing away.