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Lightning Defeat Predators 5-3 as Johansson Records Win in Debut, Paul Scores Two Power-Play Goals

Tampa Bay Lightning’s backup goalie, Jonas Johansson, made an impressive debut as he made 28 saves in the team’s 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. Johansson stepped in for the injured Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is expected to be out for another six to eight weeks after back surgery.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper praised Johansson for his calm and composed performance, stating that he played a positional game and didn’t let the pressure affect him. The Lightning’s offense was also on point, with Nicholas Paul scoring two power-play goals and Nikita Kucherov adding two goals of his own.

The Lightning now hold the NHL’s highest winning percentage in season openers, with a record of 20-9-2.

On the Predators’ side, new head coach Andrew Brunette expressed his disappointment in the team’s penalty trouble, emphasizing the need to avoid penalties against a team with an elite power play like the Lightning. Despite the loss, the Predators showed resilience and battled back with goals from Ryan O’Reilly, Juuso Parssinen, and Tommy Novak.

The third period proved decisive, with the Lightning taking the lead through goals by Paul and Brandon Hagel. Kucherov sealed the victory with an empty-netter.

Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos also played a role in the win, contributing an assist. However, contract negotiations for a new deal won’t begin until after the season, according to general manager Julien BriseBois.

The Predators will be looking to bounce back in their next game against the Seattle Kraken, while the Lightning will face off against the Detroit Red Wings.

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