Hockey is officially back people. After one of the most unique seasons last season due to the ongoing pandemic, the NHL is back to normal. The divisions return to their normal format and the same thing for the playoff seeding. The only difference is the Seattle Kraken have been added to the Pacific Divison. Another difference is the Arizona Coyotes have shifted to the Central Division. Tonight, the NHL returned to the place of the defending champions to kick off the season. The Pittsburgh Penguins visited the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It was a special night in Tampa Bay. The Lightning got to raise their second Stanley Cup banner in as many years. The ceremony was short and to the point and the game brought us some great moments. Some unexpected goal scorers came up huge for the Penguins. These goals helped lifted the Penguins to an upset victory with a 6-2 win.
Secondary Scoring For Pittsburgh
The Penguins had to dig deep to find some offense tonight. Their two most dynamic players, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, are out with injuries to start the season. This means the depth of the Penguins lineup was put to the test tonight. Depth players led the way for the Penguins tonight by getting their offense going early in the second period.
Danton Heinen and Brian Boyle are two players that are free agent signings by the Penguins this offseason. Who could have thought they would have the first two goals of the NHL season this year? They made it 2-0 Pittsburgh after two periods of play. In the third period, Dominik Simon added to the Penguin lead to making it 3-0. After three more empty-net goals and two late goals from Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh manages to come away with a 6-2 win.
Brian Boyle had to try out for the team at the age of 36 after not receiving a contract last season. He officially signed with Pit this morning.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 13, 2021
Sluggish Start Kills Lightning
The streak comes to an end tonight. Heading into tonight, Tampa Bay had won their last seven games on opening night. Tonight, that streak came to a crashing end. The team seemed like they would feed off the crowd’s energy with the banner-raising ceremony. That was not the case at all. The defense of Tampa Bay was sluggish and let up too many odd-man rushes to the Penguins. Their offense was invisible for the majority of the night until it was too late.
It is not time to panic in Tampa Bay at all. This team knows how to win and will figure it out. As for Pittsburgh, this team must feel really good about their performance. They came in as a major underdog and came out with a massive win. When one team fails to show up, it is noticeable to everyone watching. That was the case with the Lightning tonight. Jon Cooper needs to get his team in line before their next game goes down.
The Lightning’s defense is garbage
— nick (@itsfolkingnick) October 13, 2021
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