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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay opens the season with two wins over Chicago

Both of next week’s games against the Dallas Stars are postponed to May.

Chicago Blackhawks v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

After beating the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday in the opening game of the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated this opponent in their second meeting as well. This time the Blackhawks stayed in the game longer and even attempted a comeback but still fell to the Lightning, allowing five goals. [Raw Charge]

While Chicago looked better than they did in the first game, when the Lightning put pressure on them in the offensive zone, they couldn’t handle it. Still, Andrei Vasilevskiy had to be sharp, especially in the first period, to keep the Hawks from stealing a point or two. The Big Cat ended up with 35 saves on 37 shots.

As expected, Tyler Johnson and Luke Schenn have returned to the lineup, replacing Alex Volkov and Cal Foote. Johnson celebrated his return with an assist on the second goal by Alex Killorn. Schenn found himself on the third line, playing mostly with Mikhail Sergachev.

Yanni Gourde’s line has kept their performance since last year’s playoffs and was the most effective last night, with two goals. Both Yanni Gourde and Blake Coleman recorded a goal and assist, and Barclay Goodrow added two assists on both goals by his linemates.

An interesting fact: Blake Coleman scored his first goal at Amalie Arena as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization and was deservedly named the second star of the game.

Lightning Links

The NHL finally released the updated schedule. The two games against the Dallas Stars, which were initially scheduled for Jan. 17 and Jan. 19, are postponed to May 4 and May 10. Additionally the game against Florida Panthers scheduled for May 4, was moved to March 16. All changed were made due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Dallas Stars organization.

After clearing waivers, Boo Nieves has been assigned to the Syracuse Crunch. Earlier this week Nieves signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Lightning after taking part in the training camp on a PTO deal.

The Syracuse Crunch recalled several players from the Orlando Solar Bears ahead of the start of training camp.

The Utica Comets have released information about the exhibition game against the Syracuse Crunch on January 30, however the Crunch haven’t confirmed it yet.

Around Hockey

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 in their first game of the season. Tim Stutzle made his debut in the NHL.

The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in their second game in a row but lost Sean Couturier due to injury. Last year’s Selke Trophy winner will have an MRI on his shoulder this weekend.

After losing to the St. Louis Blues on the opening night, the Colorado Avalanche demolished their opponent with a 8-0 win in the second game.

The Buffalo Sabres lost another game to the Washington Capitals last night, helping to record Czech goaltender Vitek Vanecek’s first NHL win.

Henrik Lundqvist has been finally released from hospital after having heart surgery.