Tampa Bay Lightning Lose Home Opener

By: Emily Pesquera

The Tampa Bay Lightning played their home opener Tuesday, Oct. 12, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The two-time, back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions are on a mission for a three-peat for the Stanley Cup.

The Lightning are looking for a three-peat of Stanley Cup wins, to become the first NHL team to win three straight Stanley Cups since the New York Islanders won four in a row back in 1980.

“It is great to have the Lightning as back-to-back champions, it really brings the city and fans together in a positive way,” said Blake Baase, freshman accounting major.

Tuesday night’s game was not just a normal hockey game, it was a memorable game for the employees, fans, and the team.

Electric energy filled the arena as the 2020-21 Stanley Cup Championship banner was revealed.

“It feels amazing working with a back-to-back winning team, when I tell someone where I work their face lights up,” said Timothy St. Pierre, Amalie Arena employee.

The party started way before puck drop. A face off concert at the Sail Pavilion next to the Tampa Convention Center featuring the band All Time Low took place to start off the 2021-22 season, and celebrate the 2021 Championship Banner raising.

After the face off concert, the party headed to Amalie Arena and Thunder Alley.

Fans, players, and employees sat in awe as the 2020-21 Championship Banner was being raised.

The banner is for the fans,” said Jon Cooper, Lightning head coach. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup started the term “Champa Bay” and now it is not going away anytime soon as various teams are gaining major wins. The Bucs won the Super Bowl, the Rays advanced to the AL East title back-to-back and the Lightning won the Stanley Cup back-to-back.

Living in “Champa Bay” is a great feeling for many Tampa residents.

“It is an awesome feeling, I love it,” said Peter Laughlin, freshman, entrepreneurship major.

The Tampa Bay Lighting might not have won Tuesday night, but they had many fans bringing the thunder.

“I feel good about living in Champa Bay, since I’ve lived here my entire life, I’ve seen my fair share of losing and watching my sports teams getting some championships was super satisfying and gratifying,” said Noah Vakin, freshman film and arts double major. 

The final score was 6-2, Penguins. The Lightning losing to the Penguins snapped the streak of seven consecutive season opening wins.

Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy finished the night with 29 saves, getting pulled for an empty net with 6 minutes left.Two goals were scored by Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn. Nikita Kucherov, star right wing did not have any shots on goal for opening night.

One loss does not define the Lightning. There are still 81 games left.

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