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NHL Game Night: 10-7-11 Lightning at Hurricanes

The 2011-2012 regular season begins just as the 2010-2011 regular season ended. Tears for Hurricanes fans.

TB-5
CAR-1

Dwayne Roloson made 32 saves for the victory. He took care of business.

First Period
CAR Skinner,(1)(Gleason, Ruutu), 8:07

Second Period
TB St. Louis, (1)(Stamkos), 5:19
TB Lecavalier, (1)(Stamkos, St. Louis), 17:50 (PP)

Third Period
TB Downie, (1)(Bergeron, Shannon), 12:22 (PP)
TB Hall, (1)(Thompson, Jones), 12:32
TB Malone, (1)(Purcell, Brewer), 16:58

Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and second stars.

That's how an elite team handles its business on opening night. Carolina has a young team with a lot of enthusiasm and they came out hard in the first period, and the Lightning just stomped the living daylights out of them in the final 40 minutes. That's what contenders do to borderline, mediocre teams.

Beautiful hand-eye coordination by Vincent Lecavalier on his power play goal. Stammer-esque, dare we say?

You have to love how just about everyone on the team got to drink from the well of prosperity in this one. When you get not just the top guys, but also the second tier of guys like Malone and Shannon and you even get the 4th liners some cookies too, that's how you build confidence up and down the lineup.

The despair of the Hurricane's announcing duo is still a sweet melody to my ears. Get ready for 81 more like that, boys.

Brett Connolly had 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 14:20 in his NHL debut.

Blair Jones, who is the human victory cigar at Bolt Prospects, had a helper, 2 shots, and was +1 in 9:04. We're throwing a parade when he graduates from prospect status later this season. It's almost like a child's high school graduation for us, because sometimes it seems like we've been covering him for 17-18 years.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Game Day: 10-7-11

KHL (Russia):
Cherepovets 4 @ Dynamo Riga 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Win, 42/44, 2.00 GAA, .955 sv%
Season totals: 6 GP, 4-2-0, 0 SO, 2.50 GAA, .925 sv%

Just a reminder: veteran goaltender and Lightning 2002 draft pick Vasily Koshechkin is still one of the best goaltenders in all of Russia. He stopped 42 shots today to lead Cherepovets to a 4-2 win over Riga. Ex-Lightning forward Martins Karsums was scoreless in the match for Riga. Cherepovets draws Mytischi on Sunday.

North American Juniors Game Night: 10-6-11

OHL

London Knights 7 @ Niagara Ice Dogs 3

C Vladislav Namestnikov, LDN: 1-0-1, +2, 2 PIM (hooking)
Season Totals: 5 GP, 3-3-6, +3, 6 PIM

Namestnikov’s third goal of the year was one of four the Knights scored in the first period on their way to a 7-3 blowout win in St. Catherines. London was outshot 43-31 in the game. Seven different Knights scored, including reigning OHL Player of the Week Seth Griffith, a Lightning prospect camp attendee. Griffith leads the Knights in scoring after five games with five goals and 11 points. Namestnikov is tied for fifth with six points, but has four points in his last two games (2+2).

European Game Day: 10-6-11

KHL (Russia):
CSKA 2 @ Khabarovsk 3 (SO)
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA, DNP
Season totals: 9 GP 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM

Nikita Kucherov was a scratch in CSKA's 3-2 shootout loss to Khabarovsk. CSKA faces St. Petersburg on Sunday.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Lulea 1 @ Brynas 0
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-2-6, +2, 2 PIM

Johan Harju had a minor for high sticking and failed to convert on a third period penalty shot in Lulea's 1-0 win over Brynas. Ex-Lightning goaltender Johan Holmqvist stopped 19 shots for Brynas in the loss. Lulea plays MODO on Saturday. The team is currently tied with Frolunda and Skelleftea at 17 points for the best mark in the league.

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