Atlanta at Tampa Bay

Lightning 5, Thrashers 3 wire reports

TAMPA, Fla. -- Steven Stamkos didn't lose his scoring touch during the offseason.

Stamkos had two goals and an assist to help new Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher win his NHL debut in the Lightning's 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday.

"It's a good way to start a season," Stamkos said.

Stamkos had 51 goals last season to tie Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead. Steve Downie, Dominic Moore and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning in their season opener.

"I've played with Stamkos a couple of times at the world championships and I know he's got unbelievable hands," said Atlanta goalie Chris Mason, who made 31 saves. "Both his goals were great tips."

The Thrashers, who trailed 4-0 in the second period, got goals from Tobias Enstrom, Ben Eager and Chris Thorburn.

"Overall, our team really showed courage to come back," Atlanta coach Craig Ramsay said. "But you can't fall behind that much."

Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec, diagnosed with a concussion, remained hospitalized Saturday. He was undergoing additional tests to determine why he collapsed in Friday night in the team's season-opening 4-2 win over Washington.

"I talked to him," Ramsay said. "He sounded great. He had a great attitude. They've been doing a lot of tests and so far everything is normal. We'll just hope for the best."

Boucher was hired as the Lightning's seventh head coach June 10. He coached Montreal's AHL farm team in Hamilton last season, going 52-17-11 en route to the Western Conference finals.

"Yes it does ... it feels good," Boucher said.

Thorburn pulled Atlanta within 4-3 at 7:41 of the third. Stamkos responded with a nifty waist-high redirection from the low slot to put the Lightning back up by two with 9:01 to play.

"I was scared it was a high-stick at first," Stamkos said.

After Downie scored a power-play goal at 5:23 of the first, Moore put the Lightning ahead 2-0 with 11:39 left in the period. Tampa Bay outshot the Thrashers 20-13 during the first.

Lecavalier's power-play goal 2:20 into the second period made it 3-0. Stamkos extended the lead to 4-0 at 5:21.

The Thrashers cut the deficit to 4-2 late in the second. Enstrom scored during a 5-on-3 power play with 3:29 remaining before Eager added an unassisted goal at 18:12.

Tampa Bay's Mike Smith made 27 saves.


Tampa Bay improved to 21-8-1-2 at home against the Thrashers. ... Atlanta called up G Drew MacIntyre from their AHL affiliate in Chicago to back up Mason. ... Tampa Bay D Mattias Ohlund (knee) didn't play. ... Lecavalier has 27 goals and 60 points in 61 games against Atlanta.

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Atlanta (1-1-0)0213
Tampa Bay  (1-0-0) «2215
Three Stars
S. Stamkos

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
S. Downie

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
V. Lecavalier

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
05:23Power Play - Steve Downie (1), Tip-In. Assist: Malone, Clark
08:21Dominic Moore (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Purcell, Bergenheim
02:20Power Play - Vincent Lecavalier (1), Tip-In. Assist: St. Louis, Stamkos
05:21Steven Stamkos (1), Tip-In. Assist: Hedman, Downie
16:31Power Play - Tobias Enstrom (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Bergfors, Ladd
18:12Ben Eager (1), Snap Shot, Unassisted.
07:41Chris Thorburn (1), Tip-In. Assist: Sopel, Eager
10:59Steven Stamkos (2), Tip-In. Assist: Jones
Penalty Summary
03:39Peverley, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
01:21Enstrom, 2 min, Tripping
05:48Clark, 2 min, Interference
08:13Thorburn, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
08:13Downie, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
08:51Hedman, 2 min, Holding
11:27Kubina, 2 min, Interference
13:42Hainsey, 2 min, Holding
15:30Hedman, 2 min, Tripping
15:48Moore, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
04:13Lecavalier, 2 min, High-Sticking
14:20Byfuglien, 2 min, Interference
19:51Eager, 2 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
Tampa Bay209736
Chris Mason58:31315
Mike Smith60:00273
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Attendance - 19791
Referees - Chris Rooney, Francois St-Laurent
Linesmen - Jonny Murray, Pierre Racicot
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