Lightning Thrash Atlanta in Final Pre-Season Game
Stamkos, St. Louis and Smith Key 5-1 Win
The Lightning’s final tune-up before the regular season opens couldn’t have gone better for the team as they dominated the Atlanta Thrashers in every department to grab the win, 5-1
With Mike Smith
looking sharp in net and the special teams, both power play and penalty killers functioning effectively, Tampa Bay closed out the pre-season with a convincing win.
Tampa Bay got on the board first, at 12:11, when Zenon Konopka claimed his first pre-season goal when he deflected a shot on net from Paul Ranger, appearing in his first game action of the season.
Fifty seven seconds later, after Atlanta netminder Ondrej Pavelic played the puck outside the trapezoid behind the goal to draw a delay of game penalty, Steven Stamkos
converted a pass from St. Louis to widen the Lightning lead to 2-0. Vincent Lecavalier
also was credited with an assist on the power play goal.
In their earlier pre-season match-up, on September 18Th, Pavelic had proved troublesome to the Lightning, holding them to two goals, including the winner in overtime. Tonight, the Lightning would enjoy much more success against the Atlanta netminder, scoring five times on 26 shots.
The door to the penalty box was rarely shut through period one and two as a total of 15 penalties were called for 49 penalty minutes. Still, whenever the Lightning were faced with skating a man short, they shut down the Thrasher power play effectively.
Tampa Bay cashed in on another power play chance at 2:23 of the second period as Martin St. Louis
scored, assisted by Stamkos and Lecavalier. In all, the Lightning would convert for three power play goals on six opportunities in the contest.
Atlanta finally got on the scoreboard at 5:40 of the period when, following a goal mouth scramble in front of Smith, Thrasher forward Chris Thorburn managed to maneuver the puck into the Tampa Bay goal.
That concluded the scoring for the second period and Tampa Bay went to the locker room with a 3-1 lead.
The third period was the Lightning’s best of the night as the Thrashers were continually thwarted by some aggressive checking and hard skating by the Bolts.
While Atlanta defenseman Pavel Kubina
was in the penalty box for hooking, Steven Stamkos
got his second goal of the night, converting a quick-passing play that earned Ryan Malone
and St. Louis assists at 12:20.
The Lightning added some additional insurance at 7:08 as defenseman Mattias Ohlund
scored his first pre-season goal, assisted by Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay.
And that goal, which made the score 5-1, was the last pre-season score for the Bolts, as they finished the seven-game warm-up with a solid record of 4-1-2.
The games start to count from here forward, beginning against these same Thrashers, October 3rd at the Philips Arena.
The Malone-Stamkos-St. Louis line continued their torrid scoring, accounting for three goals and seven points…Mike Smith
made some sharp saves early in the game, stoning Atlanta forward Marty Reasoner twice…Smith finished with 20 saves on 21 shots…Tampa Bay outshot Atlanta 10-4 in the third period and 26 -21 for the game…Paul Ranger returned to action and contributed 22:19 of ice time.