Goaltender Wendell Young said he thinks the Tampa Bay Lightning has surprised everybody.
He probably is right.
The expansion team finished a successful preseason with a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins Saturday night before 7,893 at The Omni.
"We knew we would be a hard-working team, but we didn't know how successful we would be," said Young, who came to Tampa Bay after winning two Stanley Cup championships with the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I think we have surprised everybody, even ourselves."
Tampa Bay, which lost to Boston 3-2 Friday night at Expo Hall, finished the preseason 6-2-1. Tampa Bay's two losses were by a combined three goals. The Bruins ended up 7-2.
Young, who had allowed nine goals in his first three games (4.82 goals-against average), made spectacular save after spectacular save to keep the game close until the Lightning broke loose in the third period with three goals _ two by Rob Zamuner and one by Chris Kontos.
"This was a good test for us," said Kontos, who finished the preseason with four goals and five assists in six games. "I think Boston had pretty much the lineup they are going with and we had pretty much our lineup."
"I think we've kind of let the league know we will be competitive," Young added. "And I know Boston wanted to win as much as we did to get momentum for the regular season."
The Lighting makes its NHL debut Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Expo Hall.
Lightning coach Terry Crisp said he is very happy with his roster.
"They give me a solid effort every night and that's all I can ask," he said.
Nobody gave a more solid effort Saturday night than Young, who turned away 30 shots, many in spectacular fashion.
"Some nights the team carries me and some nights I can carry the team," Young said. "It was one of those good nights."
In a game in which the Lightning was outshot 32-17, Young made several key saves in the final period. He twice stopped center Ted Donato at close range, including a diving glove save on a tough angle shot.
Zamuner, a free-agent acquisition, broke a 2-2 tie on a nice feed by Brian Bradley, who hesitated for a path to clear. Zamuner collected the pass and lifted the puck over the right shoulder of Boston's No. 1 goalie Andy Moog.
Zamuner also scored an empty-net goal with 55 seconds left in the game for his fourth preseason goal. Bradley had a goal and two assists in the game.
Kontos had given the Lightning a 4-2 lead with a power-play goal. He was stopped on his first shot, but put the rebound in.
"I have never played a full season in the NHL," said Kontos, who has see-sawed between the minors and the big time for the last 10 years. "I plan to stay this year.
"I like his attitude," Lightning general manager Phil Esposito said of Kontos. "He's showed me something."
The Bruins and Lightning traded goals in the first period.
Tampa Bay's Mike Hartman streaked down the right wing and got off a wrist shot that was stopped by Moog. But the rebound went to Stan Drulia, who was in perfect position to backhand the puck into the net for a 1-0 Lightning lead 4:10 into the game.
Drulia, who entered training camp as a tryout and signed a contract Friday, led the Lightning with six goals in six preseason games.
The Bruins tied the game 2:24 later on Ray Bourque's goal.
Tampa Bay regained the lead 2-1 lead on Bradley's power-play goal. From behind the net, Drulia passed to Bradley, who turned and threaded the puck between Moog's stick and the left goal post.
A play from Glen Murray to Joe Juneau tied the game at 2-2.
Center Rob DiMaio left the first period with a hip flexor.