With injuries and losses slowly mounting, the Tampa Bay Lightning called up guys from AHL Syracuse to help provide a spark. They did just that, scoring twice in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
The newly formed line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Dana Tyrell was huge, especially early on, as both Johnson and Palat earned their first career NHL goals. This marked the first time in franchise history two Lightning teammates reached that milestone during the same game. When asked about his contribution, Johnson said:
“It’s something I’ll always remember and I’m pretty fortunate to have it happen.”
In a season full of trials and tribulations, tonight provided Tampa Bay fans with a reason to celebrate. No, the game didn’t win a championship, but it snapped a five-game losing streak on home ice while also giving us a glimpse of the team’s future.
Teddy Purcell and Nate Thompson also scored for the Lightning, while goaltender Mathieu Garon extended his dominance over Carolina, pitching 45 minutes of shutout hockey before Eric Staal got one past.
Though not perfect, Lightning fans can enjoy this victory because it showcased the team’s depth. There are seven guys on the team who hadn’t tasted any NHL action before this season who are now playing alongside seasoned veterans, and that speaks volumes about Steve Yzerman‘s ability to draft and groom players for long-term success.
Meanwhile, the Lightning will look to end this recent homestand on a winning note Monday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. If these new guys can keep playing well, Tampa Bay will definitely have a shot.