Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Atlanta 3
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) – Last year’s goal scoring champion Steven Stamkos netted his first two of 2010-11, as Tampa Bay built a big lead early and held on for a 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers in the Lightning’s season and home opener.
Stamkos, who shared the league lead with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby by scoring 51 times last season, scored what proved to be the game-winner for the Lightning, who missed the playoffs last season but revamped the entire organization in the offseason.
The Steve Yzerman era got off to a good start after the former Red Wings captain was given his first general manager job in the NHL, and reigning AHL Coach of the Year Guy Boucher, 39, won his NHL coaching debut with Tampa Bay. Yzerman had been working with Ken Holland in Detroit prior to this season, while Boucher was the coach for Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton.
Vincent Lecavalier, Steve Downie and Dominic Moore also scored for the Lightning, while Mike Smith made 27 saves to earn the win.
Ben Eager notched a goal and an assist for the Thrashers, who began their season with a 4-2 win over Washington on Friday. Chris Thorburn and Tobias Enstrom added a goal each, while Chris Mason was tagged for five goals on 36 shots in defeat.
10/09 22:09:07 ET