Bolts Top Caps 6-3 In Season Opener

Peter Pupello  - Lightning Beat Reporter | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

The Tampa Bay Lightning kicked off its landmark 20th Anniversary season in celebratory fashion.

Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer each scored twice, Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and Anders Lindback made 27 saves as the Lightning rolled to a 6-3 victory over the Washington Capitals at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Saturday night.

Cory Conacher, making his NHL debut, had the other goal for Tampa Bay, which improved to 12-6-2 in season-opening games.

“It was definitely a good game right from the get-go,” Lecavalier said. “A little too much back and forth, but I thought we played a solid game.”

The loss marked just the second time in the past four years that Washington dropped its first game of the season.

Joel Ward had two goals for the Capitals, while Wojtek Wolski added the other goal for Washington and also recorded an assist.

Braden Holtby made 28 saves.

“At first there might have been a little rust,” Holtby said. “We’re just trying to get back into the swing of things.”

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, certainly did just that.

While the start of the evening called for a celebration of the past, the conclusion of the contest was reserved more for the present.

Following an opening ceremony that featured Lightning legends Brian Bradley, Chris Kontos and Joe Reekie, the current edition of the Bolts got to work rather quickly.

Brewer opened the scoring when he took a feed from Matt Carle along the boards and wristed one past Holtby at 6:24.

He then capped off the scoring with the game’s final goal, doubling his goal total from all of last season in just the season’s first game.

Ward and Lecavalier exchanged goals midway through the frame which helped Tampa Bay regain its one-goal lead. Ward beat Lindback from in close at 8:25 while on the power play, just 44 seconds before Lecavalier took a rebound from out in front and fired it into the empty cage for a 2-1 advantage.

After Ward drew Washington even with his second of the night, St. Louis took a crisp feed from Lecavalier and beat Holtby while with the man advantage to put the Bolts back up 3-2.

Wolski tied it at three in the final minutes of the second period, but Tampa Bay wouldn’t relent.

St. Louis’ second goal of the game, again on the power play, made it 4-3 after he slapped one home from the point at 4:57.

The Lightning forward also had an assist in the game for a total of three points, tying Teddy Purcell for a single-game team high.

Purcell had three assists on the night, including the lone helper on Conacher’s goal that made it 5-3 at 13:24.

“It was very awesome,” Conacher said. “I couldn’t have done it without these guys. Obviously the win is more important, so hopefully we can keep this rolling. We have three games in four nights, so it will be important for us to get some rest for our next game.”

Conacher became just the sixth player in team history to record his first career goal in his league debut, joining Alex Selivanov, Paul Mara, Jimmie Olvestad, Ryan Craig and Mike Angelidis.

Conacher’s goal came at even strength, but overall on the night, Tampa Bay had success on the power play, going three-for-seven.

“You could feel the chemistry on the bench and in the room,” Lightning

head coach Guy Boucher said. “Credit to the players. When we were off, they trained. We didn’t have to start from scratch.”

Scoring Summary
1st Period
06:24TBL Eric Brewer (1) ASST: Matt Carle (1), Martin St. Louis (1) 1 - 0 TBL
08:25WSH PPG - Joel Ward (1) ASST: Tom Poti (1), Mike Ribeiro (1) 1 - 1 Tie
09:09TBL Vincent Lecavalier (1) ASST: Keith Aulie (1) 2 - 1 TBL
2nd Period
01:59WSH Joel Ward (2) ASST: Jason Chimera (1), John Carlson (1) 2 - 2 Tie
05:11TBL PPG - Martin St. Louis (1) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (1), Cory Conacher (1) 3 - 2 TBL
18:15WSH Wojtek Wolski (1) ASST: Mike Ribeiro (2), Roman Hamrlik (1) 3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
04:57TBL PPG - Martin St. Louis (2) ASST: Steven Stamkos (1), Teddy Purcell (1) 4 - 3 TBL
13:24TBL Cory Conacher (1) ASST: Teddy Purcell (2) 5 - 3 TBL
16:42TBL PPG - Eric Brewer (2) ASST: Teddy Purcell (3), Steven Stamkos (2) 6 - 3 TBL
Three Stars of the Game
Martin St. Louis
Martin St. Louis
G: 2Shots: 5
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 21:02
Vincent Lecavalier
Vincent Lecavalier
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 1Hits: 4
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 17:37
Cory Conacher
Cory Conacher
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 13:50
Penalty Summary
1st Period
00:28TBL Ryan Malone  Interference against  Alex Ovechkin
02:51TBL Brian Lee  Hooking against  Jason Chimera
06:37TBL Brian Lee  Boarding against  Matt Hendricks
14:01WSH Troy Brouwer  Boarding against  Matt Carle
2nd Period
04:06WSH Wojtek Wolski  Holding against  Steven Stamkos
06:59WSH Jason Chimera  Roughing against  Matt Carle
14:28WSH Mike Ribeiro  Hi-sticking against  Vincent Lecavalier
17:26TBL Sami Salo  Holding against  Alex Ovechkin
17:26WSH Alex Ovechkin  Embellishment against  Sami Salo
3rd Period
03:18WSH Mathieu Perreault  Tripping against  Adam Hall
04:22WSH Nicklas Backstrom  Tripping against  Vincent Lecavalier
07:04TBL Tom Pyatt  Holding against  Marcus Johansson
15:42WSH Matt Hendricks  Roughing against  Marc-Andre Bergeron
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/43/7
Faceoff Wins3440
Blocked Shots108
Penalty Minutes1610
3T. PotiD01-21013:20
8A. OvechkinL0004223:35
9M. RibeiroC0213218:11
17W. WolskiL1011214:42
19N. BackstromC00-13219:57
20T. BrouwerR00-12221:01
25J. ChimeraL0101212:13
26M. HendricksL00-12213:10
27K. AlznerD0001022:31
38J. HillenD00-1003:29
42J. WardR2015013:37
44R. HamrlikD0100012:36
52M. GreenD00-12026:57
55J. SchultzD000109:15
74J. CarlsonD0122025:02
83J. BeagleR0001015:45
85M. PerreaultC00-1023:52
90M. JohanssonL00-21017:15
70B. Holtby2834.82459:48
2E. BrewerD2012018:18
3K. AulieD0101010:10
4V. LecavalierC1105017:37
6S. SaloD0011222:23
11T. PyattC0010214:08
12R. MaloneL00-12219:41
15B. LeeD00-20413:25
16T. PurcellL0314015:22
18A. HallR0002012:42
19B. CrombeenR0002011:16
25M. CarleD0111021:00
26M. St. LouisR2105021:02
44N. ThompsonC0001013:54
47M. BergeronD001208:47
67B. PouliotL0020013:30
77V. HedmanD0000019:52
89C. ConacherC1112013:50
91S. StamkosC0204023:15
39A. Lindback2730.90060:00