Cory Conacher is at it again.
Playing in a preseason contest for the Tampa Bay Lightning Wedensday night, Canisius College’s all-time leading scorer buried a power-play goal that tied the score at 2-2 with 11:47 to play.
Conacher scored on a 2-on-1, slamming home a pass at the back-post. Damian Cristodero from the St. Petersburg Times wrote that “the Lightning left wing scored a dazzling power-play goal in which he crashed the net and also crashed his chin into the post.”
Found a video of the goal. Expand it to full screen and watch the scoreboard.
It was learned earlier in the week that Conacher’s linemates would be none other than Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, who have over 1,000 career points between them. From all reports, Conacher has been impressive so far in camp.
“He’s one of those guys we have to take a close look at,” Lightning coach Guy Boucher told reporters after the game. “He wants to stay. … He’s got character, speed and skill. That’s a very good mix.”
So far so good, but does he have a shot at making the NHL club? Boucher said Conacher will need to continue to play well.
“He made a statement that he’s not intimidated by the size and the speed of the game. It was a new level of adaptation for him. Can he keep it up? That’s another question.”
Conacher had hot starts in the AHL and ECHL last season. In three ECHL games with the Cincinnati Cyclones, he scored five goals and had two assists, including a natural hat trick. In seven AHL games with the Rochester Americans and Milwaukee Admirals, Conacher had six points (4+2) before being a healthy scratch for some of Milwaukee’s playoff games.
Looking ahead, should Conacher make Tampa Bay’s final roster, the Lightning play in Buffalo on Oct. 25. It is more likely he will start the year with Tampa’s AHL affiliate in Norfolk, which has him under contract this season. The Admirals (just can’t get away from Admiral teams, can he?) do not play the Rochester Americans this season, but will be in Syracuse on Oct. 29 and Albany on Nov. 4 and 11.
Conacher’s goal was assisted by Brett Connolly and Marc-Andre Bergeron, and was scored on St. Louis goalie Ben Bishop. You can follow Cory on Twitter @conhockey19.