As far as home openers go, this was one for the books. Haven't seen captain Bryan McCabe smile since netting that OT winner against TOR a few seasons ago; tied a franchise record with 4 assists tonight.
The numbers: Eleven Panthers earned at least one point. McCabe (4a), David Booth (2g-1a), and Rostislav Olesz (1g-2a) led the club. Plus/Minus was unsurprisingly dominated by Caber (+4), while Shawn Matthias, Booth, and Olesz all finished with a +3. Dennis Wideman (1 phenomenal PP goal) paced both teams in TOI with 25:19. Booth recorded a season-high 9 SOG. Center Steven Reinprecht made the most of his season debut with 1g, +1, 2 SOG. TB's Big Guns: Steven Stamkos (1 shot, even), Vincent Lecavalier (1 shot, even), Simon Gagne (1 shot, -1); though in fairness Vinny left the game early with a hand/wrist injury. Stamkos had a seven-game scoring streak broken in the loss. Tomas Vokoun stopped 29 shots to secure his 40th career shutout and second in as many games. The Bolts' Dan Ellis/Mike Smith combo-by-necessity collectively surrendered six goals on 38 Florida shots. Tampa was 0-2 on the PP, keeping Florida statistically perfect on the penalty kill through four games. The Panthers have 12GF and 5GA in twelve periods of regulation hockey on the young season, with nine of those tallies coming in the past two games. More from our pals at Raw Charge here. Videos to come in a bit.
Next up: Dallas Stars on Thursday, 7:30pm; LBC Live Chat at 7.