Despite the postponement of their first two preseason home games and the relocation of training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, the Lightning played their first exhibition game as scheduled Tuesday night, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.
While many of Tampa Bay’s regulars flew ahead to Nashville, where the Lightning will play the Predators on Thursday and Friday, Tuesday’s game offered the first preseason glimpse of the team’s young core. The roster included forwards Nick Paul, Brandon Hagel and Ross Colton, and defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak. It also gave prospects fighting for a roster spot — such as forwards Cole Koepke and Gabriel Fortier — their first chance to make an impression.
The Lightning spent most of the night chasing the puck. Playing at home early in the preseason, the Hurricanes had a team more representative of their regular-season lineup. Carolina’s 46-21 shot advantage was evidence of that. But that should change in the coming days as the Lightning settle into their temporary home in Nashville.
Carolina scored three power-play goals, including the first two of the game on the man-advantage in the second period. Lightning goaltender Maxime Lagace stopped all 25 even-strength shots he faced through the first two periods before the Hurricanes started to open up the game. Vladislav Namestnikov scored the Lightning’s only goal in the third period, following his own shot after a feed from Colton.