Lightning rookies Tyler Johnson and Cory Conacher celebrate Johnson's first period goal, the first of his NHL career. - Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Images
The Lightning put together the kind of all-around effort that has served them well in the past, while offering a glimpse into what the immediate future holds, in handing the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-1 defeat.
Tonight was a step back in time, if not to the wild and crazy beginning of the season, at least as far back as February 23rd, the last time these two teams met. On that night, the Lightning registered a season-high 39 shots on goal with 12 different Bolts notching at least a point in a 5-2 win. Tonight, the Bolts scored more than three goals for the first time in five games and 11 different skaters recorded points. It was also a look to the future as once again, rookies contributed successfully to the outcome, recording a bit of history in the process.
"I thought (Tyler) Johnson, (Ondrej) Palat and (Dana) Tyrell gave us momentum from their first shift. They were everywhere on the ice. We know they have skill. We know they are fast and we know they work hard." - Lightning head coach Guy Boucher
At 10:54, just after the conclusion of the team's first and only power play of the night, Tyler Johnson scored the first goal of the game and the first of his NHL career with helpers from Alex Killorn and Cory Conacher.
"There were a lot of emotions going through me. I felt really good and happy to see it go in. I didn't quite know what to do after. It's something I will always remember and I am pretty fortunate for it to happen" - Tyler Johnson
The first period ended with the Lightning holding a 1-0 edge.
At 6:35 of the second, it was Ondrej Palat making Lightning history, scoring his first NHL goal, marking the first time that Lightning rookies scored their first goal in the same game. Sami Salo and Johnson pitched in with assists.
The Lightning found themselves carrying a 3-0 lead into the third.
On the night, Garon stopped 21 of the 22 shots that came his way. Justin Peters, his Carolina counterpart, turned away 22 of 26..
"I'm pleased with the result. We've played this way 14 of our last 16 games; we just didn't get the result in those other games." - Boucher
The Lightning's homestand continues Monday night when they'll host the Philadelphia Flyers
- Stat of the night? In the last two years, five Bolts have scored their first NHL goal against Carolina (Bret Connolly, Tim Wallace, Richard Panik, Johnson and Palat. (courtesy of Incipient Senescence)
- Johnson's assist on Palat's goal was also the first of his NHL career.
- Lightning rookies accounted for five points on the night and have contributed a total of 37 points on the season.
- Purcell's goal was his first since February 16.
- The Lightning snap a five-game home losing streak and improve to 3-0-0 against Carolina on the year, outscoring the Hurricanes 13-4 in those three games.
- All three of Mathieu Garon's wins this season have come against Carolina.
- The Lightning honored Dr. Sylvia Campbell as the 30th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game. Dr. Campbell, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Judeo Christian Health Clinic and Beth El Farmworker Ministries. Dr. Campbell, a surgeon, dedicates a lot of her extra time after her busy work schedule giving back to others in need. She goes the extra mile to help those battling breast cancer, even writing her patients thank you letters after the medical procedures to follow-up with them. Dr. Campbell is a quiet leader that volunteers hours of overtime and her services by operating on the poor, who are not in a position to pay, which is saving countless lives each year. A mother of three and Medical Director for the Judeo Christian Health Clinic, Dr. Campbell joins in on the serving line to feed the homeless, in addition to performing surgery free of charge. She shows everyone she comes across with the utmost dignity and compassion. When Haiti was struck by earthquakes in 2010, Dr. Campbell took a flight to the country to begin offering her services to help those in need. In the three years since the earthquakes rattled Haiti, she has made more than 20 trips, bringing comfort and medical assistance to those who are struggling.