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Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. contest at the Prudential Center is the first of three games versus Metropolitan Division foe, the New Jersey Devils, this season. The two clubs meet in New Jersey again on December 12, before the Bolts host the Devils at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on March 15 to close out the season series. Last year Tampa Bay went 2-1-0 against New Jersey, winning their past two games.
The Big Story:
Heading into Tuesday night, the Bolts are looking for their fourth straight win on the road this season, while the Devils hope to earn their first win at home since October 19. Each a franchise player for their respective team, Martin St. Louis (926) trails the Devils Patrik Elias (936) by 10 points on the NHL’s all-time points list.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay jumped out to a two-goal lead for the second time in three contests Saturday, but again allowed their opponent to hang around just long enough for it to be a close-call type of game. Yet the Lightning remained resilient, a word that has become a synonymous with the Bolts, as they eventually captured two points on a Steven Stamkos game-winning tally in the fourth round of the shootout.
Losing defenseman Radko Gudas in the middle of it all to a game misconduct, the Lightning blue line was forced to spend extra minutes on the ice as they played with five defensemen through the remainder of the game and into overtime. Inevitably tired at the end of 65 minutes of play, the blue line was hard at work in the offensive zone too and is responsible for a combined nine points through their past three contests. Before his early exit, Gudas also notched his first goal of the season, which extended the Lightning’s streak to three straight games with at least one power-play tally (two have come from blueliners).
Tuesday is the middle game of a three-game road trip in which the Lightning hope to earn their third-straight win. A victory would also be their fourth-straight win on the road this season.
DEVILS – With just two wins through 11 games thus far, New Jersey hopes that their momentum has taken a step in the right direction after a 4-3 comeback win at TD Garden against the Boston Bruins Saturday. The win snapped a season-long, four-game winning streak for the Bruins as the Devils netted three unanswered power-play goals, two coming less than 25 seconds apart, to finish on top.
The Devils converted four of seven man-advantage opportunities in the game. It was also the most allowed by the Bruins since January of 2012.
Goaltender Martin Brodeur, 41, gave the Devils a chance to win when New Jersey was down 3-1 early, but injuries loom between the pipes. Back-up Cory Schneider was placed on injured reserve with a lower body ailment after complaining of soreness. Keith Kinkaid was with the Devils’ AHL affiliate the Albany Devils on Monday, but is expected to be recalled to New Jersey on Tuesday.
10/16 – Recalled F Brett Connolly from Syracuse (AHL)
10/19 – Reassigned F Brett Connolly to Syracuse (AHL)
Twitter Stat Pack:
Eric Brewer is expected to skate in his 900th @NHL game Tuesday with the #TBLightning.
The #Bolts have killed-off 23 of 24 penalties through their past six games.
With three power-play goals in as many games, the #TBLightning’s power-play ranks seventh in the league with a 25% success rate.
Martin St. Louis has strung together a three-game point streak against the New Jersey Devils, notching one goal and four assists.
The #TBLightning’s eighth win of the season on Sunday vs. the Panthers sets a franchise record for wins in the month of October.
“We probably have the quietest 8-3 record in the league and we like it that way. You look at our schedule and we’ve played some pretty tough teams.” – Steven Stamkos after Sunday’s shootout victory in Sunrise, Florida.
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