There is an old saying, “you can’t stop them, you can only hope to contain them.” In this case, the “them” may just be the Tampa Bay Lightning offense through the first six games of the season, as the offensive fireworks continued to roll on Tuesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, as the Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-2 to collect their fourth straight win.
The story of the night once again was the offense, and different players on the offense contributing goals.
The Lightning got off to a quick start, thanks to Steven Stamkos converting on the power play to put the Bolts up 1-0. That lead would not last long as the Panthers came right back and tied the score just 15 seconds later on a broken play that saw goaltender Anders Lindback fall down and lose the puck. Peter Mueller got credit for the goal.
Cory Conacher would get the lead back for the Lightning before the end of the period when he scored on a semi-breakaway to put the Lightning up 2-1. Conacher made a nice move around Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver before walking in on goal.
“It was a great play by (Victor) Hedman to find me in the middle there, and luckily I had enough gas in my legs to just beat Weaver,” Conacher said. Conacher also added an assist on the night.
In the second period, the Lightning would extend their lead to 4-1 after getting goals from Tom Pyatt, his third on the season, and Dana Tyrell, his first of the year. The Tyrell goal gave the Lightning 13 different players who have scored goals in the first 6 games of the season.
In the third period, the Lightning would add a goal from Vincent Lecavalier, who finished off a pretty passing play from Conacher and Benoit Pouliot.
The Panthers would add a shorthanded goal, but that would be as close as they would get as the Lightning continued their success on the home stand.
This win was key for the Lightning, with a big weekend back to back on the horizon, and playing against an opponent they have struggled with in the past. But for Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, he saw the contest as a challenge.
“Everybody seemed to have some (worries) but not me,” Boucher said. “I just saw a great challenge ahead of us. I like the fact they said they were going to come out hard tonight. It made for a great challenge. We can’t look at anything as a threat – just a challenge.”