This was a game the Lightning needed.
The Lightning was coming off two losses in the last eight days. They needed to come out strong and make a statement.
The Lightning came out of the locker room on fire as they outshot Nashville 8-0 through the first ten minutes of the game.
Then the Lightning got into trouble with penalties as Nashville scored to take a 1-0 lead.
The Lightning suddenly found their scoring touch in the second period as they scored four goals to take a 4-1 lead.
Tyler Johnson scored his first of the season, followed by rookie Call Foote scoring his first career NHL goal to put the Lightning up 2-1.
Foote talked about the feeling of scoring his first NHL goal. “It felt unbelievable. You have dreams your whole life about scoring your first one. I’d definitely remember that. I guess I watch Stamkos every day in practice do that, so I guess I’m just trying to learn from him.”
That will be the first of many goals for Cal Foote as he seems to be getting more acclimated to the NHL game every day.
Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos rounded out Tampa’s scoring in the second period as the Lightning led 4-1 after two periods.
The third period belonged to Nashville as the Predators cut the lead to 4-3, kept the pressure on the last 90 seconds of the game, and had the Lightning scrambling.
The Lightning went 125 minutes between goals as they had not scored since the first period of a 5-2 loss to Columbus.
Things got a little chippy toward the end of the game as Yanni Gourde dropped the gloves with Dante Fabbro.
Later in the period, Pat Maroon and Mark Borowiecki dropped the mitts and were given 10-minute game misconducts.
There was a lot to like in this game with the Bolts. The Lightning started quickly, had a great second period, and then played desperation hockey in the third period to hold off the Predators.
The Lightning played some of their best hockey this season during the second period building a 4-1 lead.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper talked about the team getting rewarded for their hard work. “We were rewarded in the second period for our play. At some point, the dam had to break, and it did in the second, enough for us to win.”
Cooper talked about the Lightning not shooting enough in the first period. “We didn’t shoot the puck in the first period. The first period against Carolina was the exact same thing. We were just leaving plays out there.”
The Lightning will play Nashville in the second game of their series Monday Night at Amalie, and that should be a very entertaining game considering how the game on Saturday ended.
Defensemen Erik Cernak missed the first game with Nashville and will most likely miss the game on Monday Night.
Cooper did say that forward Mitchell Stephens was placed on the long-term injured reserve list and will miss the next two months.