Lightning Lose 3-2 in 2022-23 Home Opener

By Michael Wax

Lightning squander multi-goal lead, fall to 1-3-0.

The Lightning saw the following lineup changes:

- Forward Cole Koepke replaced forward Gabriel Fortier

- Defenseman Ian Cole (reinstated) replaced defenseman Haydn Fleury

- Defenseman Nick Perbix (NHL debut) replaced defenseman Philippe Myers (injury)

- Andrei Vasilevskiy replaced Brian Elliott in goal

1st Period

The first period of the home opener saw the Lightning start especially strong, with the first line of Hagel-Point-Kucherov generating a decent amount of chances. Overall, Flyers goaltender Carter Hart held firm and the teams went into the first intermission scoreless. The Lightning led the shot counter 10-6.

2nd Period

After an abhorrent middle frame against the Penguins, the Lightning had a much better second period against Philadelphia.

The captain got on the scoresheet for the fourth consecutive game to open the scoring. On the power play, Vladislav Namestnikov brought the puck in over the blue line before dumping it to Corey Perry. Perry cycled it down low to Kucherov, who in turn got it back to Namestnikov inside the right face-off dot. Battling through three Flyers PKers, Namestnikov dropped it back to Stamkos, who fired home a one-timer for a 1-0 Lightning lead.

Namestnikov and Kucherov picked up the assists.

Stamkos wasn't done. With the Lightning on the power play less than three minutes later, Nikita Kucherov mesmerized the Flyers' PKers before floating a cross-crease pass to Stamkos, whose one-timer beat a sprawling Carter Hart.

For Stamkos, these two goals put him at 487 goals and 979 points, as he chases the career milestones of 500 goals and 1000 points. Kucherov and Hedman picked up the assists.

The Flyers would get one back before the end of the period. Egor Zamula would fire a puck towards the net off the rush, and the rebound came right to a wide-open Scott Laughton. Laughton picked up his second goal of the season on a play where the debuting Nick Perbix picked up the wrong guy and left Laughton wide-open on the rush.

3rd Period

For a team that usually clamps down on their opponents in the 3rd period, the Lightning uncharacteristically looked like the second-best team in the period. When forced to kill a penalty early in the 3rd, Erik Cernak missed his assignment in front and allowed James van Riemsdyk to screen Andrei Vasilevskiy and tip in a shot from Kevin Hayes to tie the game.

Cernak was once again a factor on the game-winning goal for Philly. After receiving a pass in the defensive zone from Mikhail Sergachev, Cernak flubbed an outlet pass and passed the puck right onto the stick of Noah Cates. Cates fired a shot past Vasilevskiy to give the Flyers a lead they would not relinquish.

Three Stars

1. Hart (PHI): 36 Saves

2. Stamkos (TBL): 2 Goals

3. Cates (PHI): Game-winning goal

The Lightning's next game will be against the Florida Panthers on Friday October 21, at 7:30 PM ET.

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