DALLAS — Given what he went through last season, Adam Hall could not have asked for a better start.
The right wing scored twice and was plus-2 — he even provoked a fight with the Stars' Francis Wathier to show new coach Guy Boucher and his teammates that "I'm not going to shy away from anybody" — as the Lightning earned a 4-2 victory over the Stars in its preseason opener Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.
"You never want to look back and say I left something out there," said Hall, who despite an NHL contract spent last season with AHL Norfolk. "You want to show everything you can."
The Lightning did just that in Boucher's NHL debut. It was quick, was on the puck and outshot Dallas 31-19. G Dan Ellis made 17 saves, C Dominic Moore scored, and D Mattias Ohlund, coming off his first NHL season without a goal, finished the scoring with 9:05 left in the third period.
There were four fights and 60 penalty minutes. D Matt Smaby was lost in the first period with an upper-body injury that might have resulted from a bout with Brian Sutherby.
But the story was Hall, and his tenacious linemates Dana Tyrell and Nate Thompson. Tyrell assisted on both of Hall's goals. Thompson had four shots. "That whole line represented one type of play we want to have on our team," Boucher said. "They set the tone."
About Hall, he said, "He's one of those guys who does a lot of small details. You can even bypass seeing him. But if you look at his game (Tuesday), there was a lot of grit around the boards. He was driving at the right place, and he was driving hard."
Hall opened the scoring 4:44 into the game off Tyrell's pass through traffic, and he made it 3-1 3:39 into the third by converting a rebound of Tyrell's shot. "It was a lot of fun," Hall said, "to see it all come together."
First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Hall 1 (Tyrell, Thompson), 4:44. Penalties—Smaby, TB, major (fighting), 1:30; Sutherby, Dal, major (fighting), 1:30; Hall, TB, major (fighting), 4:50; Wathier, Dal, major (fighting), 4:50; Daley, Dal (hooking), 5:22; Malone, TB (goaltender interference), 5:48; Downie, TB (hooking), 6:12; Fistric, Dal (interference), 9:40; Wright, TB (hooking), 15:00; Pouliot, TB, major (fighting), 19:46; Tousignant, Dal, major (fighting), 19:46.
Second Period—2, Tampa Bay, Moore 1 (Malone, Jackson), 6:31. Penalties—Jackson, TB, major (fighting), 6:52; Wathier, Dal, served by Tousignant, minor-major (elbowing, fighting), 6:52; Downie, TB (slashing), 13:37; Morrow, Dal (slashing), 14:27; Daley, Dal (cross-checking), 16:15.
Third Period—3, Dallas, Gagnon 1 (Vincour, Sutherby), 1:19. 4, Tampa Bay, Hall 2 (Tyrell, Jackson), 3:39. 5, Dallas, Larsen 1 (Vincour, Gagnon), 7:17. 6, Tampa Bay, Ohlund 1 (Purcell, Harju), 10:55. Penalties—Downie, TB (tripping), 18:29. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 9-13-9—31. Dallas 7-5-7—19. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 0 of 5; Dallas 0 of 5. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Ellis 1-0-0 (19 shots-17 saves). Dallas, Raycroft (18-16), Krahn 0-1-0 (10:42 second, 13-11). A—9,527 (18,532).
SMABY HURT: Smaby fought Sutherby 1:30 into the game and was buckled by a big right hand to the back of the head. He seemed unsteady on his skates in a subsequent shift but said he was "fine" after the game.
DOWNIE BENCHED: RW Steve Downie was benched for a time in the second after he took a slashing penalty behind the play. He had six penalty minutes on three minor stick fouls.
ODDS AND ENDS: Tampa Bay was 0-for-5 on the power play, 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. … LW Ryan Malone had an assist and a game-high five shots. … RW Brett Connolly, drafted sixth overall in June, plays his first NHL game tonight vs. the Blackhawks. … G Mike Smith (finger), hurt at Monday's practice, could resume workouts today. He likely wouldn't take shots. …Stars C and ex-Lightning Brad Richards didn't play.