LIGHTNING (18-10-3) at DEVILS (12-15-6)
Last 10: Tampa Bay 4-3-3; New Jersey 3-6-1
Sun Sports; AM 970 WFLA
This is the middle tilt of three between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils and second and final game at Prudential Center this season. Adam Henrique and Jaromir Jagr led the way in a 2-1 victory for the Devils in the clubs' first meeting, as Martin Brodeur manned the crease, stopping 16 of 17 shots he faced in the win.
Picking up points in four straight games (2-1-1), the Bolts hope momentum carries over Saturday in New Jersey as they look to snap a six-game road-losing streak. The last time Tampa Bay picked up a win on the road was on November 12 at Bell Centre in a 2-1 shootout win against Montreal.
LIGHTNING – Starting the season spotless in overtime/shootouts (6-0), the Bolts had lost three straight heading into Thursday. Yet head coach Jon Cooper had a gut feeling to go with St. Louis in the sixth round of the shootout, which served him well and snapped their skid in the Lightning's third straight overtime/shootout. Though Tampa Bay has proved they can win in close games, Cooper is hoping for more goals per game, much like their offensive outburst in a 6-5 shootout win against the Caps Tuesday. Not including that game the Lightning have tallied just five goals in December.
It is the first game of their three-game road swing and is also the first of back-to-back contests for the Bolts.
DEVILS – In their last game, the Pittsburgh Penguins built a three-goal lead on New Jersey and despite responding with two goals in the second period, the Devils fell short, 3-2, for their second straight loss. In the final two frames they outshot the Penguins 32-11. The dropped decision puts New Jersey at 7-10-3 on the road this season
The Devils begin a three-game homestand where the results have been slightly better going 5-5-3 within the friendly confines of Prudential Center. New Jersey has lost five of their last six and eight of their last 11 overall.
Leading the team in points (30), Martin St. Louis has posted six points over his past four games, including a three-point performance versus the Washington Capitals Tuesday. St. Louis also tallied the game-winning shootout goal in the sixth round of a shootout Thursday.
Lightning – D Keith Aulie (upper body, out), D Victor Hedman (lower body, out), F Pierre-Cedric Labrie (upper body, day-to-day), D Brian Lee (knee, out), F Ryan Malone (lower body, out), F Tom Pyatt (broken collarbone, out), F Steven Stamkos (broken right tibia, out); Devils – F Ryan Carter (leg, out), F Ryane Clowe (concussion, out), F Stephen Gionta (ankle, out), D Peter Harrold (non-displaced foot fracture, out), D Adam Larsson (lower body, out), D Bryce Salvador (non-displaced stress fracture in foot, out)
Twitter Stat Pack:
The #TBLightning rank third in the #NHL with a .867 winning percentage when they score the game's first goal.
The #TBLightning's Martin St. Louis has tallied 46 points (19 goals, 27 assists) in 49 career games vs. the #Devils.
With a 16 wins in 24 starts, @BenBishop30 ranks tied for fourth in the #NHL for wins.
The #Bolts won their first game Thursday when trailing after the first period (1-6-1).
Over the past two games, #TBLightning rookies have combined for nine of a combined 18 points produced.
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