TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jonas Johnson made 28 saves in his first start in place of the injured Andrei Vasilevskiy, with Nicolas Paul in the third The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Nashville Predators 5-3 with two power-play goals. The NHL regular season opener is Tuesday night.
Johnson was signed as Vasilevskiy’s backup. Vasilevskiy underwent back surgery two weeks ago and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
“His game is quiet,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “He made himself great. He wasn’t erratic. He only played positional pieces. When the heat came up, his heart rate didn’t increase. You have to say he passed the test.”
Brandon Hagel hit the free throw and Nikita Kucherov scored twice for the Lightning. Brayden Point contributed 3 assists.
The Lightning’s season-opening record is 20 wins, 9 draws and 2 losses, the highest winning percentage in the NHL (at least 10 games played).
Nashville’s Juuse Saros stopped 29 shots. Ryan O’Reilly, Jusso Pashinen and Tommy Novak all scored in Andrew Brunette’s debut as Predators coach.
“I feel good about our game,” Brunette said. “Just against this team, we talked about it, you can’t get into penalty trouble. Their power play is elite. I’ve seen that record played so many times in this building. . ”
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, entering the final season of his eight-year, $68 million contract, had one assist. Tampa Bay general manager Julian Brice Boyce said the salary-cap-challenged team won’t begin negotiating new contracts until after the season.
Novak scored a power-play goal at 8:48, and Paul scored with a man advantage at 2:04 to make it 4-3. Kucherov added an empty-netter.
Pashinen scored 11 seconds into the third quarter, then Paul scored 42 seconds later and Hagel gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead at 3:07.
Kucherov scored the only goal of the first quarter, giving Tampa Bay a 13-2 lead.
“This wasn’t the start we wanted,” O’Reilly said. “We had to be more consistent with that, but we fought back.”
O’Reilly tied the score at 1 in the second quarter, and Nashville defeated the Chargers 14-5.
“I think the second one has left us,” Dot said. “But happy with how we responded in the third quarter.”
When Nashville center Cody Glass took a penalty shot off the helmet by teammate Tyson Barrie with six minutes left in the second quarter, he missed it again in the third quarter. came back.
Chargers forward Tyler Motte missed his third game with an injury.
Dicky V at the rink
College basketball icon Dick Vitale, one of the legends of Tampa Bay area sports, participated in the puck drop ceremony.
Vitale said on social media on Tuesday that he would use two oscilloscopes over the next five days to determine whether his 35 radiation treatments had “eradicated” his vocal cord cancer.
Hall of Famers who shared the ice with Vitale include the NHL’s Phil Esposito and Dave Andreychuk, the NFL’s Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber, and MLB’s Wade Boggs and Fred McGriff.
Nine-time Stanley Cup champion coach Scotty Bowman watched the game from the press box. Bowman, 90, first attended an NHL game in 1937 when his father, a Montreal Maroons fan, took him to a game against the Canadiens.
Predators: Host Seattle on Thursday night
Chargers: Play at Detroit on Saturday night.