Lightning Strikes Twice in the Shootout; Win 5-4 Over the Devils

New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Three Stars of the Game:

3rd Star: Alex Killorn (1 goal, 1 assist)

2nd Star: Andy Greene (1 goal, 1 assist)

1st Star: Steven Stamkos (2 goals, 1 assist)

Stephen Gionta, Alexei Ponikarovsky, and Bryce Salvador all made their returns from injury, but it wasn’t enough as the Devils (15-11-8) dropped another tough one in the shootout Friday night to the Tampa Bay Lightning (15-18-1). The offense wasn’t the problem this time, it was the defensive play. The Devils scored in almost every way they could, scoring goals at even strength, on the power play, shorthanded, and even on a penalty shot, but couldn’t put one past Mathieu Garon during the shootout. The Devils are now 2 – 6 this year in the shootout, a huge drop-off from their shootout success last year.

The first period was a mostly uneventful one. Both teams had a chance on the power play but couldn’t convert. Martin Brodeur was strong in net and made a couple of big saves. Patrik Elias had a chance that went off the crossbar, and Tom Kostopoulos and Radko Gudas dropped the gloves.

The second period was a completely different story. Andrei Loktionov sniped home a pass from new Devil Matt D’Agostini to give the Devils a lead 5:50 into the period. Just 51 seconds later, Tom Kostopoulus was awarded a questionable penalty shot when he fanned on a breakaway. He would put it past his former teammate for his first goal as a New Jersey Devil to give them a 2 – 0 lead. Martin Brodeur would be called on several times, but stood tall until Steven Stamkos finally batted in his own rebound out of midair to cut the lead to one. Nate Thompson would score his fourth goal against the Devils this season to tie the game at 2 apiece. The Devils would get multiple power play chances, and convert on one them. Andy Greene with a nice snapshot, assisted again by D’Agostini, would give the Devils a lead going into the third.

The third period would quickly see the Devils go shorthanded on a tripping call on Bryce Salvador. The Devils wouldn’t sit back as Ryan Carter took it upon himself to score a shorthanded goal to give his team a 4-2 lead. But, Stamkos wouldn’t let that last long as he put home his 25th goal of the season and second of the game to cut the lead down to 4-3. The Devils would pressure the Lightning but not be able to put any in the net. After taking multiple icings down the stretch, and with Tampa Bay pulling the goalie, Alex Killorn would take a cross-ice feed from Stamkos to tie the game with 15 seconds left. We were headed to overtime.

In the OT, the Devils missed an early chance, whose rebound would lead to a breakout lead by Steven Stamkos. Matt D’Agostini grabbed him, and was called for holding. The Devils PK was called upon again, and stepped up to the task. They killed the penalty admirably, allowing really only one chance. The shootout would once again whether the Devils would get the extra point or not.

Both teams had some surprises in their shootout lineups. The Lightning opted to go with Teddy Purcell first who skated quickly at Marty at put it past him. Travis Zajac started for the Devils, and made one too many moves, none of which Garon bit on. In another surprise, Victor Hedman would go next for Tampa Bay, and in an even bigger surprise, slide one between Brodeur’s pads. It was up to Patrik Elias to keep the Devils alive, but he was unable to, giving the Lightning the extra point and give new head coach Jon Cooper a win in his debut. The Devils will have no time to sit back and think about this one as they are back in action tomorrow against the Florida Panthers.

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About Marcelo Acevedo

23 year old die hard New Jersey Devils, New York Knicks, Dallas Cowboys, and Villanova Wildcats fan. Pretty eclectic group. I know. Currently a Devils General @Devilsgenerals

Posted on March 30, 2013, in Game Recap, New Jersey Devils and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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