The Jon Cooper era in Tampa Bay began with a win for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay’s new head coach made his debut behind the Lightning bench on Friday after being officially hired on Monday, and his players were able to fight back from a two-goal third-period deficit to defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 in the shootout.
The deciding breakaway competition last only two rounds, with Teddy Purcell and Victor Hedman scoring for the Lightning.
Given how excited Cooper was before the game – “I’m jacked. This is really, really exciting. I’ve got a plan. I’ve done it my way, and here I stand today,” he told NHL.com – he had to like his team’s effort in the third period, after going down by a pair of goals.