NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Carolina
(Friday, October 7th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Carolina 1
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Steve Downie, Adam Hall and Ryan Malone each scored a third-period goal, as the Tampa Bay Lightning opened the regular season with a decisive 5-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning, who lost the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games against eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston a season ago.
Dwayne Roloson registered 32 saves for the victors.
Prior to their deep postseason run, the Lightning eliminated Carolina from playoff contention with a 6-2 victory on the final day of the 2010-11 regular season.
The Hurricanes were denied a measure of revenge Friday, as Jeff Skinner, who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie last season, tallied the team's lone goal during the first period.
Cam Ward stopped 29 shots.
"We worked hard enough the first two periods," said Skinner. "We just sort of came off of it for a little bit and they capitalized on some scoring chances we gave them."
Skinner beat Roloson 8:07 into the first period, but the Hurricanes were held off the board for the remainder of the game.
Steven Stamkos, who was re-signed to a five-year, $37.5 million contract during the offseason, assisted on both of Tampa Bay's second period goals.
The first, by St. Louis came 5:19 into the period. The second, by Lecavalier, put the Lightning on top for good.
Tampa Bay then poured it on in the third period to decisively seal the victory. Downie's rebound put-in came with 7:38 remaining and Hall scored off a center-ice draw 10 seconds later for a 4-1 advantage.
Malone capped the scoring with 3:02 remaining.
"It's frustrating that we could play 40 minutes like that and then come up short like that in the third," said Skinner. "We have to figure out a way to put 60 minutes together."
Tampa plays in Boston on Saturday...Last season, the Lightning took four-of- six from the Hurricanes during the regular season...Carolina plays in Washington on Saturday.
10/08 00:02:38 ET