Lightning loses as it starts a new season

by Gary Shelton on October 13, 2021

in general

Cirelli scored the Bolts' first goal./CHUCK MULLER

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

The new banners were there to make you remember. The play itself? You want to forget.

The Tampa Bay Lightning started its quest for a third consecutive Stanley Cup Tuesday night and, well, things could have gone better. The Bolts were hammered, 6-2, by a Pittsburg Penguins team that was missing both Sydney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin.

The Penguins had a 3-0 lead with six minutes to play when Lightning coach Jon Cooper pulled goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. The move helped the

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offense -- which scored its two goals. But the empty net allowed Pittsburgh to score three.

"They beat us to every puck," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "They worked harder than us. They were better than us in every facet of the game. If I wasn't for our goalie it probably would have been way worse. They came here to win a hockey game. We came here and watched the banner raising, and then watched a team want to win a hockey game We did a lot of watching tonight."

The Lightning seemed slower than a year ago, less energetic. Perhaps that is because of the lost players. Perhaps it was because of Pittsburgh. Either way, this team looks as if it will have to grow into the season.

Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn got the late goals for Tampa Bay.

The Lightning will play in Detroit against the Red Wings on Thursday night.

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