It was never really as close as the score indicates. Marc Denis allowed 4 goals on 17 shots in the loss before giving way to Johan Holmqvist who allowed 2 goals on 12 shots. Vincent Lecavalier and Vaclav Prospal each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. Defensemen Filip Kuba and Dan Boyle each had a pair of helpers. The other Lightning goals were scored by Ruslan Fedotenko and Martin St. Louis with am individual assist going to Paul Ranger.
Tonight's game was another example of a problem the Lightning have had the past two seasons, which is allowing one bad goal or bad play to snowball into multiple goals and a huge momentum swing they cannot recover from. Tonight it was a soft goal allowed by Denis followed by a pittiful unforced turnover by Dan Boyle in the Lightning zone resulting in a goal. The Lightning miss having veteran leadership like Jassen Cullimore to put out on the ice in those situations and it shows.
Tampa Bay 5:48, Vaclav Prospal 2 (Paul Ranger)
Carolina 8:23, Eric Staal 7 (power play) (Justin Williams)
Carolina 8:32, Kevyn Adams 1 (Craig Adams)
Carolina 9:06, Erik Cole 2 (Ray Whitney, Rod Brind'Amour)
Carolina 5:14, Eric Staal 8 (power play) (Rod Brind'Amour, Anton Babchuk)
Tampa Bay 12:23, Ruslan Fedotenko 5 (Filip Kuba, Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 16:41, Vincent Lecavalier 5 (power play) (Vaclav Prospal, Dan Boyle)
Carolina 17:34, Scott Walker 6 (Eric Staal)
Carolina 0:55, Scott Walker 7 (Ray Whitney, Rod Brind'Amour)
Tampa Bay 11:32, Martin St. Louis 6 (Filip Kuba, Dan Boyle)
Doug Janik played 15:02 with 1 shot and 2 blocks. Eric Perrin got 15:03 with 1 hit and was 75% on draws. Nick Tarnasky (not Nick Tinarski as the poorly prepared an laughably bad Carolina play-by-play folks would have you believe) played 6:05.
Game sheet from NHL.com.