Finals | Lightning 5, Predator 3


The Chargers opened the 2023-24 season with a 5-3 win over the Predators on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena.

Nick Paul led Tampa Bay in the third period with two power-play goals and an assist.

Jonas Johansson got the win in his Lightning debut, stopping 28 of Nashville’s 31 shots.

Tampa Bay is now on the road, playing three road games against three Atlantic Division opponents. The trip begins with back-to-back games in Detroit and Ottawa on Saturday and Sunday.

Rating summary
Phase one
TBL 1, NSH 0
9:48 Nikita Kucherov (1) – Victor Hedman, Cape Braden
The Chargers dominated the opening 20 minutes, outscoring Nashville 13-2 and taking a halftime lead. Nikita Kucherov converted a pass from Victor Hedman for his first goal of the season after establishing himself high in the penalty area.

the second term
TBL 1, NSH 1
16:15 Ryan O’Reilly (1) – Filip Forsberg, Ryan McDonagh
On a strange play, Filip Forsberg stopped to avoid a blocker from Hedman and passed to Ryan O’Reilly in the open net. O’Reilly redirected the puck past Jonas Johansson to tie the game late in the second period.

The third issue
NSH 2, TBL 1
0:11 Juuso Parssinen (1) – Philipp Forsberg
After winning the opening possession of the third period, the Bolts turned the puck over to give Nashville its first lead of the game. With Tampa Bay out of position, Jusso Pashinen received a pass from Forsberg, cut into the face of the goal and stuffed the puck into Johnson’s five.

NSH 2, TBL 2
2:25 Nick Paul (1) – Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos – PPG
The Bolts turned the momentum back in their favor after Tyson Barrie’s free throw. Quick puck movement from Tampa Bay’s top powerhouse pulled Saros out of position, and Nick Paul took control of the scramble in front and tied the game at two.

TBL 3, NSH 2
3:07 Brandon Hagel(1) – Unassisted
Brandon Hagel broke through the middle of the Nashville defense and reached the net, but was pulled down by Luke Schenn and awarded a penalty kick. He scored the Lightning’s second goal in 42 seconds.

TBL 3, NSH 3
8:46 Tommy Novak(1) – Philip Tomasino, Gustav Nyquist – PPG
Tampa Bay led for more than five minutes before Tommy Novak tied it again on a power-play goal. Novak fired a shot from the left circle and snuck the ball past Johnson at the near post.

TBL 4, NSH 3
10:52 Nick Paul (2) – Mikhail Sergachev, Brayden Point – PPG
Just midway through the third quarter, Paul scored his second power-play goal of the season. He lurked in front of the net again, rebounding Mikhail Sergachev’s initial shot.

TBL 5, NSH 3
19:58 Nikita Kucherov (2) – Unassisted – ENG
Kucherov sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with less than two seconds left.

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