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game recap

Bolts Top Caps 6-3 In Season Opener

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Peter Pupello - Lightning Beat Reporter

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Bolts Top Caps 6-3 In Season Opener
Washington Capitals 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 6
Three Stars of the Game
Martin St. Louis
1st
Martin St. Louis
RW
G: 2Shots: 5
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 21:02
Vincent Lecavalier
2nd
Vincent Lecavalier
C
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 1Hits: 4
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 17:37
Cory Conacher
3rd
Cory Conacher
C
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 13:50

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.

Defenseman Eric Brewer opened scoring for the Lightning this season, earning two goals on the night. Brewer scored one time in 82 games last season.

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
06:24
TBL
Eric Brewer (1) ASST: Matthew Carle (1), Martin St. Louis (1)
1 - 0 TBL
08:25
WSH
PPG - Joel Ward (1) ASST: Tom Poti (1), Mike Ribeiro (1)
1 - 1 Tie
09:09
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (1) ASST: Keith Aulie (1)
2 - 1 TBL
2nd Period
01:59
WSH
Joel Ward (2) ASST: Jason Chimera (1), John Carlson (1)
2 - 2 Tie
05:11
TBL
PPG - Martin St. Louis (1) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (1), Cory Conacher (1)
3 - 2 TBL
18:15
WSH
Wojtek Wolski (1) ASST: Mike Ribeiro (2), Roman Hamrlik (1)
3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
04:57
TBL
PPG - Martin St. Louis (2) ASST: Steven Stamkos (1), Teddy Purcell (1)
4 - 3 TBL
13:24
TBL
Cory Conacher (1) ASST: Teddy Purcell (2)
5 - 3 TBL
16:42
TBL
PPG - Eric Brewer (2) ASST: Teddy Purcell (3), Steven Stamkos (2)
6 - 3 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
00:28
TBL
Ryan Malone  Interference against  Alex Ovechkin
02:51
TBL
Brian Lee  Hooking against  Jason Chimera
06:37
TBL
Brian Lee  Boarding against  Matt Hendricks
14:01
WSH
Troy Brouwer  Boarding against  Matthew Carle
2nd Period
04:06
WSH
Wojtek Wolski  Holding against  Steven Stamkos
06:59
WSH
Jason Chimera  Roughing against  Matthew Carle
14:28
WSH
Mike Ribeiro  Hi-sticking against  Vincent Lecavalier
17:26
TBL
Sami Salo  Holding against  Alex Ovechkin
17:26
WSH
Alex Ovechkin  Embellishment against  Sami Salo
3rd Period
03:18
WSH
Mathieu Perreault  Tripping against  Adam Hall
04:22
WSH
Nicklas Backstrom  Tripping against  Vincent Lecavalier
07:04
TBL
Tom Pyatt  Holding against  Marcus Johansson
15:42
WSH
Matt Hendricks  Roughing against  Marc-Andre Bergeron
goalie stats
Braden Holtby
Braden Holtby
SA: 34TOI: 59:48
Saves: 28EV: 20 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 11
SV%: .824SH: 0 - 0
Anders Lindback
SA: 30TOI: 60:00
Saves: 27EV: 19 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .900SH: 2 - 2