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2015-16 Pre-season game 1: Bolts drop exhibition opener in overtime

The Nashville Predators rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in overtime as the Lightning begin their exhibition season.

Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Images

The Nashvile Predators beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in overtime at Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday night.

An announced crowd of 14,324 was on hand for the first game action at Amalie Arena since Game 6 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, where they witnessed the Nashville Predators mount a late rally to overcome a 2-0 deficit and eventually win in overtime. It was the Lightning's first sample of the NHL's new 3-on-3 overtime format, although the Predators actually scored the game winner on a 4-on-3 power play.

The overall quality of play was what you'd expect for the first exhibition game of the year; the guys you expect to look good looking slightly better than the guys you don't really know, with none of them really standing out. A possible exception might be Lightning goalie Adam Wilcox, who played the second half of the 60 minutes in regulation plus the overtime period. In spite of giving up all three Nashville goals, he made a number of difficult stops, including many shots that came at him from close range.

Invitee Ray Emery got the start in net for the Lightning and gave up no goals on 10 shots, stopping seven in a mutually scoreless opening period.

At 2:58 of the second, newly acquired Eric Condra opened the scoring for the Lightning, scoring on assists from Mike Angelidis and Anthony DeAngelo.

The Lightning carried the 1-0 lead into the third period.

At the mark, Alex Killorn fed Jonathan Drouin who converted on the breakaway to make it 2-0. Victor Hedman was credited with the secondary assist.

Nashville finally got on the board at 15:20 on a goal bu Cody Bass that took a flukey high bounce and ended up behind WIlcox. He was assisted on the play by Gabriel Bourqe and Seth Jones.

The Predators tied the game just over two minutes later on a goal by Viktor Arvidsson, getting help from Kevin Fiala.

The teams headed into the overtime tied at two, and faced off in the new 3-on-3 format. Steven Stamkos was called for Tripping at 2:54. Nashville was given the benefit of a fourth skater and scored on the ensuing power play, with Matias Ekholm potting the winner on assists from Filip Forsberg and Ryan Ellis at 3:50.

The Lightning will play the Predators again tomorrow when they travel to Nashville. The game starts 8:00 PM. They'll return to host the Florida Panthers this Friday at 7:30 PM.

Game notes:

  • This game was literally pre-destined to go to overtime,as the Lightning had decided beforehand to use it as one of the three opportunities given to each team by the NHL to try the new format during this preseason.
  • The Lightning held a slight edge in faceoffs, winning 27 of 53 (51%)
  • On special teams, the Lightning were 0-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-3 shorthanded.
  • Hedman led Lightning skaters with 22:41 of ice time, followed by Matthew Carle (21:18) and DeAngelis (21:03)
  • Cedric Paquette led the team with three hits. He also picked up four penalty minutes.
  • Slater Koekkoek blocked five shots.