NHL Game Night 10/4: Devils at Lightning
Opening night wins are a good thing.
New Jersey 9:06, Brian Gionta 1 (power play) (Zach Parise, Travis Zajac)
Johan Holmqvist was outstanding stopping 26 of 27 shots faced for the win. With the defense in flux, tonight's goaltending performance was exactly what the team needed. If he can keep it up for the next month while Dan Boyle heals, he will help this team keep its head above water in the early going.
Martin St. Louis got his season off to a great start with helpers in triplicate. Vincent Lecavalier scored a pair of goals. Vaclav Prospal had an empty net goal and added an assist in the game. Obviously, a great start for the MVP line. Paul Ranger and Filip Kuba added individual helpers.
And how did the kids do? Reasonably well. Their pairings got hemmed in a few times during the game, but that was more the result of mistakes made by others than anything they did.
Mike Lundin was +1 in 12:39 with 1 shot on goal, a point wrister that he snuck through traffic that nearly resulted in a goal. Lundin is definitely good positionally and he's always been a solid passer. My only concern is that at 188 pounds there's a chance opposing forwards will overpower him as the year wears on.
Matt Smaby had 1 hit in 6:15 of limited ice time.
Mathieu Darche got his NHL game check by playing 4:45 with 1 shot on goal.