TAMPA — Brian Boyle scored in his first NHL game in 14 months, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the season opener at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.
The center, who did not play in the League last season and signed a one-year contract with the Penguins on Tuesday, last played for the Florida Panthers against the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers on Aug. 7, 2020.
Danton Heinen also scored in his Pittsburgh debut, and Tristan Jarry made 26 saves. The Penguins scored three empty-net goals.
Anthony Cirelli had a goal and an assist, Alex Killorn scored, and Steven Stamkos had two assists for the Lightning, the defending Stanley Cup champions, who had won their previous seven home openers. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves on 32 shots.
Heinen gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead 12 seconds into the second period after Vasilevskiy lost the puck to Jeff Carter behind the net and Carter fed Heinen in the slot.
Boyle made it 2-0 at 4:11 when he took a pass from Sam Lafferty and beat Vasilevskiy through the five-hole.
Dominik Simon extended the lead to 3-0 at 11:32 of the third period when he threw the puck toward the net and it deflected off Lightning forward Taylor Raddysh‘s leg and into the net.
Cirelli made it 3-1 at 14:23 when he redirected a shot from Victor Hedman with Vasilevskiy pulled for the extra attacker.
Blueger answered with an empty-net goal at 14:53 to make it 4-1.
Killorn scored with the extra attacker to cut it to 4-2 at 16:49, but Evan Rodrigues scored into an empty net at 17:35 to make it 5-2. Rust made it 6-2 at 18:11.