No hockey for nine months and six days of training camp add up to some sloppy hockey at times.

But in the early stages of an abbreviated 48-game season, when teams are far from crisp and still trying to tighten things up, results become more important.

Friday, that's exactly what mattered to the Lightning in an at times ragged-looking, come-from-behind 6-4 victory against Ottawa in front of an announced sellout crowd of 19,204 at the Forum. Tampa Bay improved to 3-1 in the early stages of the season as the Lightning opened a season-long five-game homestand in dramatic style.

Ryan Malone scored twice in the third period to complete the comeback in a game in which Tampa Bay fell behind by a pair of goals twice in the second period and trailed heading into the third.

"We always find a way to dig deep and come back,'' said Malone, who found a rebound with 7:02 left for the winning goal.