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Tampa Bay Lightning
Atlanta
Thrashers
34-36-12
Tampa Bay
Lightning
46-25-11

30 SOG
36 SOG
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game recap

Lightning 5, Thrashers 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Peter Pupello - Lightning Beat Reporter

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Lightning 5, Thrashers 3
Atlanta Thrashers 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 5

Welcome to the NHL, Head Coach Guy Boucher.

Photo Gallery

Boucher, who was hired over the summer to lead the Lightning back to Stanley Cup contention, came one step closer to achieving that goal on Saturday as he earned his first career NHL win, a 5-3 season-opening victory against the division rival Thrashers.

Tampa Bay moved to 10-6-2 all-time in season openers, while also claiming its sixth consecutive victory over the Thrashers dating back to last season.

“We are obviously proud of the win in front of the home fans tonight,” Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. “It was a good way to start our season.”

Stamkos, despite a six-month offseason hiatus, displayed the same form that earned him the league’s goal-scoring title at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season. The reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner had two goals, and Vincent Lecavalier and Steve Downie also scored for the Lightning.

Dominic Moore also had a goal in his regular season Lightning debut.

Atlanta rallied from a four-goal deficit, scoring three times beginning with Tobias Enstrom’s first of the season at 16:31 in the second period. The 5-on-3 power play goal spoiled Mike Smith’s shutout, but the Lightning net minder still went on to stop 27 of 30 shots and earn the win.

Atlanta, who played its second game in as many nights, also got goals from Chris Thorburn and Ben Eager.

Stamkos capped a scoring flurry that resulted in four consecutive goals to open the contest with his second of the night in the third period.

Downie opened the contest 1-0 on the power play after corralling a Brett Clark slap shot in front of the crease and wristing one over Mason at 5:23.

Moore increased the lead just 2:58 later, finding a loose puck out in front and sending into the back of the net.

After Lecavalier and Stamkos each struck three minutes apart, including once with the man advantage, to open the second period, costly penalties allowed Atlanta to mount a comeback.

After Enstrom cut the deficit to three, Eager scored unassisted at 18:12 of the second period and Thorburn brought the Thrashers within one with a wrist shot past Smith at 7:41 in the third.

“Not the way we would have liked the game to progress in the second period,” Boucher said. “I think we were doing outstanding before we started taking penalties and I don’t think we managed the game well in the second period. It gave them life and we paid for it.”

Nevertheless, Stamkos scored the insurance goal at 10:59 in the final frame and Tampa Bay’s defense held Atlanta to only seven total shots in the period, ensuring Boucher his first NHL victory as well as two points to start the season.

“We felt great,” Stamkos said. “Guys were buzzing, and even though we collapsed in the second period and a little bit in the third, we still found a way to get a big win tonight.”

scoring summary
1st Period
05:23
TBL
PPG - Steve Downie (1) ASST: Ryan Malone (1), Brett Clark (1)
1 - 0 TBL
08:21
TBL
Dominic Moore (1) ASST: Teddy Purcell (1), Sean Bergenheim (1)
2 - 0 TBL
2nd Period
02:20
TBL
PPG - Vincent Lecavalier (1) ASST: Martin St. Louis (1), Steven Stamkos (1)
3 - 0 TBL
05:21
TBL
Steven Stamkos (1) ASST: Victor Hedman (1), Steve Downie (1)
4 - 0 TBL
16:31
ATL
PPG - Tobias Enstrom (1) ASST: Niclas Bergfors (2), Andrew Ladd (1)
4 - 1 TBL
18:12
ATL
Ben Eager (1) ASST: NONE
4 - 2 TBL
3rd Period
07:41
ATL
Chris Thorburn (1) ASST: Brent Sopel (1), Ben Eager (1)
4 - 3 TBL
10:59
TBL
Steven Stamkos (2) ASST: Randy Jones (1)
5 - 3 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
03:39
ATL
Rich Peverley  Too many men on the ice
2nd Period
01:21
ATL
Tobias Enstrom  Tripping against  Steve Downie
05:48
TBL
Brett Clark  Interference against  Niclas Bergfors
08:13
ATL
Chris Thorburn  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Steve Downie
08:13
TBL
Steve Downie  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Chris Thorburn
08:51
TBL
Victor Hedman  Holding against  Evander Kane
11:27
TBL
Pavel Kubina  Interference against  Evander Kane
13:42
ATL
Ron Hainsey  Holding against  Steve Downie
15:30
TBL
Victor Hedman  Tripping against  Alexander Burmistrov
15:48
TBL
Dominic Moore  Interference - Goalkeeper against  Chris Mason
3rd Period
04:13
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier  Hi-sticking against  Ben Eager
14:20
ATL
Dustin Byfuglien  Interference against  Simon Gagne
19:51
ATL
Ben Eager  Roughing against  Martin St. Louis
goalie stats
Chris Mason
Chris Mason
1-1-0
SA: 36TOI: 58:31
Saves: 31EV: 26 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .861SH: 2 - 2
Mike Smith
SA: 30TOI: 60:00
Saves: 27EV: 21 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .900SH: 1 - 1