The Carolina Hurricanes saw the 2019 preseason get underway on Tuesday night with a 3-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa. James Reimer and Anton Forsberg each made their Canes debut as they combined to stop all 15 shots they faced.
The Canes iced a nice mix of veterans and young talent, some of who are experiencing their first NHL camps. As such, let the record show that the first tally of the season by a Carolina Hurricane was notched by Max McCormick, with an assist from Brian Gibbons, as the two journeymen got the Canes off and running just over a minute into the contest. Competing in the early going against Curtis McElhinney in his debut with the Bolts, the Canes doubled up Tampa in shots in a first period that featured a pair of Carolina powerplays.
Reimer made his Canes debut as the starter in net, followed just after the midpoint of the contest by Forsberg. Reimer put together an unblemished night stopping all eight shots he faced, while Forsberg finished with seven saves.
The Canes iced one line of regulars as Brock McGinn, Lucas Wallmark, and Jordan Martinook combined to form the de facto top line on Tuesday, while the blue line featured the pairing of Haydn Fleury and Brett Pesce. Pesce saw significant play on the man advantage and was able to get a team-high five shots on net over the course of the night.
If there was an unwelcome trend for even the first preseason game, it was the 0 for 4 that the Canes produced on their first four power plays, but on their fifth, Lucas Wallmark snapped a wrister from the slot over the right shoulder of Scott Wedgewood in net to extend the Canes lead to 2-0. The Canes followed that goal up shortly after with a two-on-one that resulted in a Colin Markison put back of a Morgan Geekie shot to push the lead to three. Despite taking a pair of penalties in the final 10 minutes, the Canes were able to maintain a clean sheet thanks to some solid penalty killing and a rusty Bolts man advantage.
The two teams will square off again, likely with totally different rosters on both sides, on Wednesday night in the PNC Arena preseason opener.