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Jonas Johansson Makes 29 Saves In His First Start As Bolts Defeat Nashville Predators

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The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Nashville Predators 5-3 on Tuesday night in the opening game of the NHL regular season. Jonas Johansson, who replaced the injured Andrei Vasilevskiy, made 28 saves in his first start. Nicholas Paul also scored twice on the power play in the third period.

Johansson was hired as a replacement for Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy underwent back surgery two weeks ago and will be out for six to eight more weeks.

For the Lightning, Brandon Hagel scored on a penalty shot and Nikita Kucherov added two more goals. Having three assists was Brayden Point.

The NHL’s highest winning percentage (minimum 10 games played) belongs to the Lightning, who are 20-9-2 in season openers.

29 shots were blocked by Juuse Saros of Nashville. In Andrew Brunette’s first game as the Predators’ head coach, Ryan O’Reilly, Juuso Parssinen, and Tommy Novak all scored goals.

Steven Stamkos, the captain of the Lightning, assisted and is in the final year of an eight-year, $68 million deal. The wage cap-challenged Tampa Bay Buccaneers won’t start contract negotiations until after the current campaign, according to general manager Julien BriseBois.

At 8:48, Novak scored on the power play, and 2:04 later, Paul scored on the man advantage to make it 4-3. Kucherov made a null addition.

At 3:07 in the third period, goals from Parssinen, Paul, and Hagel—both while the Lightning were on the power play—made it 3-2.

The only goal of the first period was scored by Kucherov as Tampa Bay enjoyed a 13-2 shooting lead.

During the second period, when Nashville outshot the Lightning 14-5, O’Reilly knotted the score at 1.

With six minutes left in the second period, Nashville center Cody Glass was hit in the head by a point shot from teammate Tyson Barrie, but he came back in the third.

With an unexplained injury, Lightning forward Tyler Motte missed the third period.

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