The Tampa Bay Lightning made themselves right at home on the road on Tuesday night.
“We worked tonight,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “Our last game, guys were impatient and it wasn’t a lack of effort and it wasn’t that guys weren’t first on the puck, but tonight we needed to work, and work within the structure.”
The win was Tampa Bay’s second in three games to open the season, while Carolina remains without a victory on the year after also falling in the season-opener on Saturday at Florida.
Mathieu Garon, who was phenomenal at times for the Lightning, made 35 saves to earn his first win of the season.
Jeff Skinner scored the lone goal for Carolina, which is now winless in its first two games for the second consecutive year.
Pyatt opened the scoring approximately five minutes in when he batted a beautiful aerial pass from Lecavalier out of mid-air and past netminder Cam Ward for a 1-0 lead.
Conacher doubled the lead after punching free a loose puck through the five hole of Ward at 11:36.
The Lightning rookie now has five points through his first three career NHL games.
“He’s relentless, just drives the net, is first on puck, gets back on defense, full seed ahead,” Boucher said. “You do that and it’s contagious to the rest of the group, and he’s got all of that.”
Skinner cut the deficit to one while on the power play when he roofed a backhand up high above Garon from his knees to make it 2-1.
The little bit of momentum lasted throughout the remainder of the middle period, as Tampa Bay appeared to be outworked after a solid first stanza.
It ended, however, when Aulie provided a much-needed insurance goal early on in the third. The Bolts defenseman found room, skated in and fired a wrist shot high to the short side and beat Ward to put Tampa Bay up 3-1 at 1:37.
Malone capped the scoring while on the power play at 9:57.
“It was nice to bounce back and have everyone chip in,” Malone said. “It was important to get off to an early start and that carried us. All around, it was a much better defensive effort [than Monday] and Garon played great out there.”
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