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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay defeats Carolina 8-5 in a preseason game

Gabriel Fortier led the Lightning with a hat trick

Carolina Hurricanes v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After losing their first two preseason games, the Tampa Bay Lightning finally earned their first win last night at Amalie Arena in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes. It was the first preseason game for several Lightning regular players, including Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat with all of them having a three-point game. Despite trailing to the Hurricanes for the most part of the game, the Bolts surged back in the third period with five goals and held the lead until the finish of the game.

But the real hero of the night was Gabriel Fortier. The 21-year-old forward scored a hat-trick on Antti Raanta’s net, including the game-winning goal and a shorthanded goal in the third period, and was very close to scoring a fourth goal. Not surprisingly he was named the first star of the game.

The Lightning played with a combination of regular players and prospects. The first two lines are potentially the first and the fourth lines for the upcoming season. While Jon Cooper admitted that he liked a Maroon-Bellemare-Perry line, he said that it’s very soon to expect them together on a opening night of the season. Pierre-Édouard Bellemare led all the Lightning players with shorthanded TOI with 5:49 and Corey Perry scored two goals in his first game in a Lightning jersey.

The more detailed recap of the game is available below, the Lightning return to the ice tonight with a game against the Nashville Predators.

Lightning / NHL News

Ross Colton has jumped from 12th position to 4th position in our T25U25 ranking after a breakout season with the Lightning. Hardev summarized his thoughts on a 25-year-old player.

Ross Colton won’t have to perfectly fit the shoe that is the third line role, unlike Cinderella after she lost her fancy dress, but this season is going to be a lot harder than last year was. I hope expectations are set at a reasonable level for him. There will be growing pains, the math says the bounces likely won’t go his way, and the team is no longer as good as the All-Star team it had before.

The Vancouver Canucks finally locked their biggest two very talented restricted free agents Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. Hughes signed a six-year deal with a $7.85 million AAV, while Pettersson agreed on a three-year bridge deal with a $7.35 million AAV