In the wake of three straight playoff appearances, and with the vast majority of the team returning, the 2016-2017 Lightning are off to a promising start.
Just days ago, Nikita Kucherov was re-signed to a three-year, $4.76 million deal, leaving the core intact. In addition, Todd Richards, former head coach of the Blue Jackets, was brought in as assistant coach for the Lightning to revamp the power play. Richards has had more wins than any coach in Columbus’ team history and was the franchise’s first coach with three consecutive winning seasons.
While the Detroit Red Wings had an early lead in the 1st, up two goals to zero, Tampa Bay bounced back, scoring four goals in the third period to win the game. The match played out in similar fashion to the two teams' last meeting, ending with a Lightning comeback.
With Ryan Callahan sitting out, regular-season veterans Jonathan Drouin (who scored the first goal of the 2016-17 season for the Bolts), Brian Boyle, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Valteri Filppula and Nikita Kucherov all scored goals.
With 28 saves on 32 shots, Lightning goalie Ben Bishop won his third straight season opener as a starter. He also surpassed veteran goalie Daren Puppa, who was the all-time leader for saves on goal with 4,959 total saves. Ben Bishop now leads the Lightning franchise with 4,963 career saves.
The Lightning have won six of their last seven season openers, as well as 10 of their last 14 regular season matchups against the Detroit Red Wings. And with 57 consecutive sellouts, this looks like a very great start to a good season.