Well, that was fun!
Steven Stamkos had a goal and two assists, Brayden Point & Nikita Kucherov also scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Nashville Predators 3-2 in the Stadium Series at Nissan Stadium on Saturday night in Nashville.
It was an incredible night of hockey in Nashville with the announced attendance of 68,619 and things got chippy right away.
Nashville's Ryan Johansen was whistled for an illegal hit to the head of Tampa Bay's Erik Cernak just 79 seconds into the game. Johansen was initially given a five-minute major, but after a short review, the penalty was reduced to a two-minute minor. Cernak returned later in the 1st period, but did not see a shift in the final two periods of the game. The team announced in the 3rd that he would not return to the contest.
The Predators jumped out to a lead when Tannor Jeannot scored a power play goal at the 8:20 mark to bring the Nashville fans in attendance to their feet.
Fans always love a good scrap and that's exactly what they got at the 9:55 mark of the 1st when Pat Maroon and Michael McCarron threw down. (VIDEO BELOW)
Nashville led 1-0 after twenty minutes of play, but it didn't take long for Tampa Bay to tie it in the 2nd.
Point took a feed from Kucherov in the slot and batted it out of the air & past Nashville netminder Juuse Saros just 58 seconds into the period to tie the score at 1-1.
Kucherov got in on the fun with a power play goal of his own at 6:18. From the top of the right circle, the Lightning's star winger snapped one high over the glove of Saros to put the visitors up 2-1 and bring chants of "Kuuuuuch" from the many Bolts fans who made the trek from the Tampa Bay area for this game.
The Lightning extended their lead to 3-1 when Stamkos rifled a one-timer past Saros at 11:31 of the 3rd, but the Predators answered right back with a Filip Forsberg power play goal less than a minute later to cut the Tampa Bay lead to one but that's as close as Nashville would get.
Saros made 30 saves in defeat for the Predators.
- Nashville - Jeannot - PPG - (Tomasino, Sissons) - 8:20
- Tampa Bay - Point - PPG - (Kucherov, Stamkos) - 0:58
- Tampa Bay - Kucherov - PPG - (Hedman, Stamkos) - 6:18
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Foote, Killorn) - 11:31
- Nashville - Forsberg - PPG - (Granlund, Johansen) - 12:29
- Nashville - Johansen - (Hit to the Head) - 1:19
- Tampa Bay - Joseph - (High Sticking) - 6:34
- Tampa Bay - Maroon - MAJOR - (Fighting) - 9:55
- Nashville - McCarron - MAJOR - (Fighting) - 9:55
- Nashville - Benning - (Interference) - 19:49
- Tampa Bay - Bellemare - MAJOR - (Fighting) - 5:06
- Nashville - Johansen - MAJOR - (Fighting) - 5:06
- Nashville - Jeannot - (High Sticking) - 5:15
- Tampa Bay - McDonagh - (Roughing) - 7:05
- Nashville - Myers - (Tripping) - 18:35
- Tampa Bay - Bellemare - (Interference) - 6:57
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Hooking) - 12:22
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Tuesday night as they return to Amalie Arena to host the Ottawa Senators. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm with the pregame show starting at 6:00pm on NewsRadio WFLA & Lightning Power Play.
PHOTO : Getty Images