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Canes ruin Tampa coach's debut
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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 0-2 hole, it's huge for us," Ward said.

In other National Hockey League games on Sunday, it was: Flyers 4, Thrashers 3 Sharks 6, Blackhawks 5 Ducks 2, Kings 0 and Canadiens 3, Blues 2 (in a shootout).

In Raleigh, North Carolina, 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 said 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.

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.

In Philadelphia, Antero Niittymaki stopped the streaking Atlanta Thrashers - again.

The Philadelphia goalie improved to 11-0 against Atlanta, making 29 saves - 19 in the third period - to help the Flyers end the Thrashers' five-game winning streak.

Niittymaki is one of two active goalies with a perfect record in at least 10 decisions against one team. Detroit's Chris Osgood is 17-0 against Tampa Bay.

Joffrey Lupul scored the go-ahead goal with 6:17 left, firing a slap shot from the slot between Johan Hedberg's pads.

Simon Gagne had a goal and two assists, Mike Knuble had a goal and assist and Kimmo Timonen added a goal in the Flyers' second straight win and third in four games. Erik Christensen, Bryan Little and Vyacheslav Kozlov scored for Atlanta.

(Agencies via Shanghai Daily November 18, 2008)

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