TAMPA — The Lightning’s 5-2 victory in the preseason finale at Amalie Arena on Saturday wasn’t perfect, but the Tampa Bay looked like a team ready for the regular season.
“The more reps you have, the more comfortable you are, and I think[Saturday]was a lot better in that respect,” said forward Braden Point. “I liked our playmaking, our skating. I thought we were comfortable with the puck. I thought.”
Forward Vladislav Namestnikov scored a hat-trick midway through the game. Namestnikov was the most impactful rookie in the lineup, finishing the preseason with his team-high five goals. Forward Corey Perry assisted on all three of Namestnikov’s goals, while forward Nikita Kucherov scored and assisted.
Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (injured lower body) did not play and captain Stephen Stamkos did not dress. Coach John Cooper said both are ready for Tuesday’s opener against the Rangers in New York.
Here are Saturday’s winning points:
Namestnikov’s versatility is a plus
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from preseason games, it’s that Namestnikov can help Lightning in a number of ways. With Stamkos not playing on Saturday, Namestnikov jumped into his unit on the first power play, scoring one favorable goal and assisting another. His power play His goal came when the Lightning tried his look on his 5-for-3 all-forward and Perry’s cross he padded a shot from his post far following Crease’s pass. did.
Namestnikov has also shown throughout preseason that he’s aiming for the net, scoring twice around the third line. Of his return to the Lightning, which drafted him in 2011, traded him in 2018, and returned him to free agency this offseason, he said it was “a bit of an adjustment, obviously.” You’ll have to get used to it all, but go out and play hockey, read a book… have fun.”
that’s the point we know
For the points, this week’s final two preseason games were all about getting back on their feet. He appeared to pick up speed from a quad injury sustained in the first round of last season’s playoffs that affected the rest of the postseason, and had several on Saturday, including a withdrawal he was unable to convert. I had an opportunity.
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He scored a goal in the third period. He rushed to beat everyone in front of the net before defenseman Cal Foot found him along the post and scored an easy goal. “I’m going back to trying to feel comfortable on the ice again and be confident in my reading and my play,” he said.
Kucherov is still a big shot
The offense was pretty unproductive heading into Saturday’s game, even considering line-juggling is part of the preseason. A pinpoint one-timer from the right circle above Knight’s left shoulder gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead – he slowed the game down and made it look easy.
On the points goal, Kucherov pushed the puck up the ice quickly but steadily, sending a drop pass to the back foot, giving the defense space for fine points. Kucherov seems to be ready.
Hegel can be a game changer with a penalty kill
It looks like there’s another level yet to be revealed to advance Brandon Hagel’s game. However, there is no doubt that he can penalize his kills. Hegel has a great stick, which combined with his speed can create short-handed breakaway opportunities. He forced a turnover in the neutral zone in the third period and raced before being denied by Knight. Hegel must now fill those chances.
Fortier helps at the checkline
The absence of Stamkos allowed the Lightning to see forward Gabriel Fortier one last game. Perry played on his third row and Fortier skated on his fourth row with Pierre He Edouard He Bellmare and Pat his Maroon. Although he’s not the biggest player at his 5ft 10lbs and 173lbs, Fortier brought the jam to the line. He ended one of his biggest checks of the game offensively in his zone and roared behind the net on a forecheck. Fortier can play a heavy game and there is no questioning his level of competition. He gives Lightning the option to spell out members of the 4th line with an average age of 36.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow @EddieintheYard.
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