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.
Game Time: 7:30 PM
Radio: 660 WFAN AM, 101.9 FM
For the first and only time this season, the New Jersey Devils (15-11-7) will travel to Tampa Bay to face-off against the Lightning (14-18-1). The previous two meetings between the teams were split, with the Devils winning the first game 4-2, and the Lightning taking the second contest 5-2. The Devils will look to bounce back from a 3-2 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators, while the Lightning will look to continue their strong play at home.
Game Time: 7:00 PM
Radio: 660 WFAN AM, 101.9 FM
For the second time this season, the New Jersey Devils (10-7-5) will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning (9-12-1) at the Prudential Center, their first meeting being a 4-2 win for Jersey’s Team, with goals coming from Henrique, Kovalchuk, Greene, and Elias. Both teams will be playing their second game in as many nights, with the Devils coming off of a 4-2 loss in Toronto, and Tampa Bay coming off a 4-3 loss against the Penguins. The last time these teams met, the Devils were in the middle of their 5-game winning streak, while the Lightning were in the middle of what would be a 6-game losing streak.
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.
(I had to use my own headline tonight. Sorry!)
Three stars of the game:
3rd star: Ilya Kovalchuk (Goal, assist)
2nd star: Ryan Malone (Lighting – 3 goals)
1st star: Patrik Elias (2 assists)
New Jersey Devils (43-28-6, 92 points) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (35-34-7, 77 points)
7:00 PM E.T.
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
This is the fourth and final meeting between the Devils and Lightning. As was the case with Toronto, the road team has won every game between these two teams this season, so the Devils will look to break that trend tonight. The Devils have had the Lightning’s number over the years, but a loss tonight would mean they did not win the season series against Tampa Bay. The Lightning won the most recent meeting, 4-3 on February 26th at Prudential Center, as Martin St. Louis scored a hat trick in the game. The Devils’ late comeback fell short that day.