After its longest offseason in quite some time, the Tampa Bay Lightning took to the ice in uniform last night to take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the first of seven preseason games for the Bolts. Tampa lost 5-2, with Alex Barre-Boulet and Connor Sheary scoring the goals for the Lightning.
Given that Tampa’s squad was half main roster guys and half Syracuse guys, as is the norm in NHL preseason games, these games can have some weird outcomes.
Here are three things we noticed during the game.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Hugo Alnefelt struggles
As we noted in our pregame notes, Hugo Alnefelt is a name Tampa Bay Lightning fans need to keep in the back of their mind. While Jonas Johansson is presumed to be the backup goalie this season, Alnefelt had respectable numbers with Syracuse last season, and Johansson comes with a ton of question marks.
Unfortunately, Alnefelt did not have a great night, giving up five goals on just 24 shots. All five goals were during 5 v 5 play, and Carolina only generated 19 scoring chances and only had an expected goal on the night of 2.13 goals.
Conor Sheary fits right into his new line
Coming over from Washington, Conor Sheary is a capable scorer when paired with the right linemates.
Last night, Sheary paired with Brandon Hagel and Anthony Cirelli, and the group had a good night.
Sheary scored a goal off assists from Hagel and Darren Raddysh when he tipped home a Raddysh wrister.
The group had a Corsi percentage of 71%, generating 15 shot attempts while only surrendering six. They also had three scoring chances to just one against.
Alex Barre-Boulet makes his case
One of the guys hoping to make an impact this season is Barre-Boulet. His long-chronicled journey hopes to settle in this season as a mainstay among Tampa’s bottom six.
On a powerplay in the first period, ABB found himself space at the top of the circle and was able to wrist home a shot into the top corner.
Paired with Nick Paul and Tanner Jeannot, his line generated five shots on goal while giving up only one.
Of course, that one shot against was the one that found the back of the net.