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Lightning rookies fall to Predators in overtime

by Bryan Burns / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning rookies dropped their opening game of the NHL rookie showcase, falling 2-1 in overtime to host Nashville on Saturday at the Predators’ brand-new practice facility, the Ford Ice Center, in Antioch, Tenn.

The Predators’ Filip Forsberg scored the game winner on a feed from Brendan Leipsic, beating Lightning goalie Kristers Gudlevskis to the glove side in the extra period.

“It was a great ending to the game for me and especially for the team,” Forsberg said. “[Getting] three penalties is not acceptable, but we were really good on the penalty kill today, and I am very thankful for that.”

Trailing 1-0 in the second period, Tampa Bay tied the game on a goal from Brayden Point, the Lightning’s third round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Jeff Costello and Tanner Richard were credited with assists on the goal. Tampa Bay outshot Nashville 14-3 in the second.

Kevin Fiala opened scoring with a second-period goal for a 1-0 Nashville advantage. Forsberg had the assist.

Andrei Vasilevskiy started in goal for the Lightning and stopped 12 shots in the first period before giving up Fiala’s goal, the only shot Vasilevskiy would face in the second. Gudlevskis entered in the second period and saved seven shots through the end of regulation.

Nashville scored on the only shot of overtime.

“I think we battled hard and both teams deserve the win,” Point said. “So I don’t think there was a real difference maker. (The goal) just happened.”

Tampa Bay led Nashville in shots 33-21, including 26-9 after the first period.

“I think it was just capitalizing on our chances,” Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek said. “If you look at the shot clock, we had a ton of shots. The Nashville goalie played well, both of them. As did ours. But I think it was just a great player [Forsberg] with a great shot.”

Tampa Bay committed seven penalties and had 17 penalty minutes; the Predators had 13 penalties and 29 penalty minutes.

The Lightning rookies will try to rebound Sunday against Boston at 5 p.m. (eastern).

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