After two excellent showings by new goaltender Anders Lindback, the netminding duties were turned over to veteran Mathieu Garon for tonight’s match up with the Carolina Hurricanes. If there were any lingering questions about Garon’s health after injuring his groin last spring, they were more than answered. He made 35 saves, some absolutely spectacular, to earn his first win of the season.
The good news is that Tampa got off to a much stronger start than they did on Long Island yesterday. They were sharp and organized. Tom Pyatt scored the first goal of the game at 5:08 in the first by batting an airborne pass from Vinny Lecavalier past Cam Ward. Tampa’s flurry continued from there.
During his time with the Admirals and the Crunch, there was a saying associated with Cory Conacher and his scoring prowess. That saying is: Death. Taxes. Conacher. The magic touch has more than followed the young forward to the show, as evidenced by his picking up the Bolts’ second goal of the night. For those keeping score at home, Cory has 5 points in 3 games.
Things devolved a bit in the second. Tampa was called for a number of penalties and Jeff Skinner brought the Hurricanes within one on a power play goal. The Bolts regrouped and rebounded in the third. Keith Aulie chipped in his first goal of the season and his first goal as a member of the Lightning. Ryan Malone sealed the deal with a late goal that saw a number of Bolts crash the net.
There’s definitely still room for improvement. The second period slump. The anemic power play. It’s hard to argue with packing up 2 points to take home, though. Time to rest, regroup, and prepare to meet Ottawa on Friday night.