Although our Florida National News fans voted in the game day poll for a Tampa Bay Lightning win, that was not the pre-season game 1 result. Carolina topped Tampa Bay 3-0. The Hurricanes came out in the 1st period with an early and successful shot on goal by Max McCormick and that somewhat set the tone for the game. The Lightning struggled and beat themselves in the six penalties they racked up.
The six penalties cast an even larger shadow on tonight’s matchup, seeing as Coach Jon Cooper said that penalties were a highly worked on and emphasized situations in training camp. One Lightning player that didn’t disappoint with penalty situations was Mitchell Stephens, Coach Cooper said that Stephens was on the puck quite a bit. When asked about the penalty kills in the locker room, Stephens said “I worked on face offs a lot this offseason”, and it showed.
Lightning Forward, Danick Martel had a similar response about the penalties and the need to correct them moving forward, but as for his own performance in the game, Martel says “I just need to skate harder, even if I mess up, I got to get up a skate”. It is just game one of the pre-season and the team faces the Hurricanes again tonight in Carolina with a chance to build off last night’s lessons.