Game 10 Recap – IT’S ELECTRIC! Devils 4 – Lightning 2
One of the biggest questions coming into this season was “How were the Devils going to replace the scoring production when that guy from Minnesota went back home?” 10 games in, it sounds like David Clarkson and Patrik Elias are trying their best to answer that question. Elias had a goal and 2 assists and Clarkson added an assist to keep his amazing start to the season alive.
After a scoreless 1st period the Devils opened up the scoring as Adam Henrique poked home a rebound for his 3rd goal in 5 games since coming back from thumb surgery. The play of Henrique on the same line with Elias and Clarkson has given the Devils their most productive line given the small sample size of 3 games. I expect this line to stay together for most of the season.
Ilya Kovlachuk has one of those great totally redeem yourself moments in a matter of 2 penalty kills. Kovy had Travis Zajac with him on a 2-on-1 midway through the 2nd and decided to pass the puck instead of taking a shot that had seemingly been given to him by the sole defenseman back on the play. Kovalchuk has had moments this year where he almost seems too unselfish. Well after finally trying to be the best kindergarten student on the Devils by sharing, Kovalchuk got a 2nd chance as he picked off a pass and went the other way, again with Travis Zajac with him. But Kovy ripped home on a shot from the left circle to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.
The Devils held onto that lead despite many attempts by the potent Tampa offense to tie the game up. Especially from star goal scorer, Steven Stamkos. Stamkos had what surely looked like the game-tying goal on his stick as Martin Brodeur was down and out of position but Stamkos shanked the shot and it was strewn across the goal mouth before being cleared out.
With 6 minutes left and a furious finish seemingly to come, the Lightning simply imploded within. While Martin St. Louis was already in the box for a trip, Travis Zajac was struck with a high-stick just 20 seconds into the power-play. Incensed at the lateness of the call (it was a few moments late from when Zajac was struck), Tampa coach Guy Boucher laced into the officials and was given an unsportsmanlike penalty to add on to the high sticking call. So the Devils would have a 5-on-3 for a max of 2 full minutes as the unsportsmanlike penalty would not start running off the clock until St. Louis’ penalty expired by time or a goal scored by the Devils. On the ensuing 5-on-3 Andy Greene would fire home a shot from the high slot to give the Devils a 3-1 lead. The Devils would then continue to have a 5-on-3 and would score again 14 seconds later as Patrik Elias scored as an attempted pass across the crease went off Tampa’s Eric Brewer and into the net like a changeup. That lead to one of the best celebrations Patty will ever do.
Tampa would add a goal late and almost got another one a few seconds later to make things interesting but the Devils held on mightily to beat the Lightning 4-2.
It was a good test for the team defensively as the Lightning have been one of the most potent offenses in the league right now, no matter how unsustainable their pace to start the year was. A solid team effort on both ends of the ice. Now a big weekend hits as the Devils play back-to-back against the only team to really take it to them this year so far, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Three Stars of the Game as Chosen by ME!
3 – Andy Greene – 1g, 1a in a solid offensive effort for the ever improving defenseman. Him and Adam Larsson are becoming quite the good combination.
2 – Ilya Kovalchuk - 1g, 1a in another good game. While he isn’t scoring every game (as some Devils fans, unfairly, say he should) he is consistently been one of the Devils best players on the ice.
1 – Patrik Elias – 1g, 2a in a magnificent game from the Devils all-time leading scorer. His line with Clarkson and Henrique is really heating up and he is probably the main reason why. He is playing outstanding so far this season.
GIF OF THE GAME: The internet is full of GIFs, those funny short moveable images that make the internet so fun. Well whenever I am doing a recap you’ll get these from me from now on. Enjoy!
Posted on February 8, 2013, in Game Recap, New Jersey Devils and tagged Ilya Kovalchuk, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Patrik Elias, Prudential Center, Tampa Bay Lightning, The Rock. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.