Game 2 at the 2011 Florida Rookie Tournament is in the books as the Nashville Predators' prospects disposed of the Tampa Bay Lightning rookies, 7-3.
The tone of the night was set early as Nashville opened the scoring just 10 seconds in as Taylor Beck pushed the puck behind Lightning goaltender Pat Nagle on the first shot of the game. Tampa Bay tried to get back into the game on a goal by Brett Connolly, but the 1-1 tie didn't stand for long and the Predators didn't look back.
Indeed, it was the "Craig Smith Show" as the University of Wisconsin forward scored 4 goals to put the game out of reach. Smith seemed to always be in the right spot -- which was usually in the slot -- and his teammates had no trouble finding him there. He also demonstrated an educated shot when he ripped the puck into a narrow opening on the short side of Lightning goaltender Pat Nagle.
"It was a really positive night for my first game," Smith said. "My linemates were making good passes and I just kept trying to get open and find open ice."
Brent Andrews and Austin Watson closed out the scoring for the Predators. Cory Conacher and Alex Hutchings scored for the Lightning.
Chet Pickard and Atte Engren shared goaltender duties for Nashville, with Pickard stopping 20 of 22 shots while Engren collected 20 of 21.
Nashville will be back on the ice at noon tomorrow to face the Panthers in Game 3 of the tournament.