The Tampa Bay Lightning were dealing with something new heading into their game against the pesky Preds. A losing streak. It was the first of the season for the Bolts. A two-game skid after losses to the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes.
After Thursday night’s shootout defeat to the Hurricanes, one thing was clear. Tampa Bay needed a quicker start. They delivered in this one, jumping out to an 8-0 shot advantage. However, they were unable to capitalize, and then the Preds got some serious power play time.
Preds open scoring after barrage of penalties
Infractions dominated the opening twenty. The worst of which for Tampa Bay was a 48 second Nashville 5-on-3. The two calls were debatable at best, soft slashes that put Tampa in that situation.
They got through it, just to find themselves in the box again minutes later. Ryan Ellis banged home a rebound to make it 1-0 Preds.
The Lightning would get a crack and a half on the man-advantage themselves, with 1:22 of power play time to work with to start the second stanza.
First in a while
Tyler Johnson was able to connect on a power play goal to get the Lightning on the board. After a quiet postseason, and no goals to start the season, this one ought to have felt good for ‘Jonny,’ as he gave the Bolts their first goal in over 120 minutes.
Cal Foote then joined what was soon to be an offensive onslaught, with a rocket from the left circle. He took a pass and hammered a one-timer home to give Tampa Bay the lead
Soon enough, the Bolts couldn’t stop scoring, as Victor Hedman joined the fun. He ripped a wrister past Pekka Rinne from the point and the Lightning led 3-1. Moments later, a vintage moment. A Steven Stamkos cannon from his office also got by the Predators goaltender to give Tampa a 4-1 lead after two periods of play.
Surviving Preds pressure
While most of the third period saw relatively even play, the Preds came with a big push to close things out. After the theme of first NHL goals continued via Mathieu Olivier’s first, a net-front scramble saw Viktor Arvidsson cut the lead to 4-3.
After that, the Bolts felt mammoth Preds pressure including another wild scramble in front of Andrei Vasilevskiy that came oh-so-close to finding a home. Nonetheless, a ferocious second period led the Bolts to a 4-3 win.
Our three stars of the game
- Steven Stamkos: Stamkos was in fine form in this one, all over the ice and a signature goal to top it off.
- Cal Foote: First NHL goal.
- Victor Hedman: Hedman was electric from the get-go, jumping up into the rush at the perfect times and a solid game defensively.
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