The Lightning came into training camp looking to improve in two areas: defensive habits and penalties. They did one better than the other Wednesday.
The Lightning didn’t even need a goalie to fend off a sustained Hurricanes possession at the end of a 2-0 preseason loss in Raleigh, N.C.
The Lightning pulled goalie Zach Fucale with about three minutes to play. The Hurricanes proceeded to maintain possession for over a minute; the Lightning deflected each of four shots.
The penalties, however, didn’t go as well. The Lightning took five in the game after taking six in their preseason opener against the Hurricanes on Tuesday, something coach Jon Cooper found disappointing.
Scoring, the Lightning’s greatest strength, also hasn’t gone well. Tampa Bay hasn’t scored in its two preseason games. Preseason is the operative word, which means there’s no need to panic. But everyone in the organization and its fans will feel better when someone scores.
The Lightning did even out the shot count, compared to Tuesday’s low showing. Tampa Bay put 21 shots on net to Carolina’s 24 on Wednesday.
Defenseman Cal Foote played a good game, including a very nice play to prevent a strong scoring chance in front of the goal. Gemel Smith led all Lightning players with 4:16 of shorthanded ice time, a distinction that usually goes to a defenseman.