NEWARK, N.J. – Vincent Lecavalier extended his current scoring streak to four games, but it wouldn’t be enough to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning past a Jay Pandolfo hattrick. Meeting the New Jersey Devils for the second time this season, the Lightning opened their first night of back-to-back contests with a 6-1 loss at the new Prudential Center.
Both Pandolfo and John Madden posted four points for the Devils, with Madden posting one goal and three assists on the night.
Playing through a scoreless first period, Brad Richards posted one of the earliest scoring chances for Tampa Bay. After Jan Hlavac tossed a backhanded shot to Richards at the left faceoff circle, the Lightning center held on to force goaltender Martin Brodeur to cheat on the shot. With Brodeur down in the crease Richards tried to lift the shot but the New Jersey netminder got a pad on the shot.
Zach Parise responded minutes later for the Devils, skating hard into the zone only to see his backhander ring off the cross bar.
Skating with the man-advantage New Jersey opened the second period with a hard shot by Patrik Elias, but goaltender Johan Holmqvist cradled the puck to deny the attempt.
Minutes later Martin St. Louis tried to get the best of Brodeur, but he was unable to get a strong shot off at the side of the net. After Richards intercepted a pass by Madden deep in the zone, he pushed the puck back to St. Louis at the left of the net. As St. Louis looked for the one-timer the puck rolled off his stick and slid to Brodeur for the save.
At 6:20 of the second period Madden connected to open the scoring for New Jersey. Dainius Zubrus controlled the puck behind the net to kick off the play, making a pass out to Madden who fired a shot over Holmqvist’s left shoulder.
Less than two minutes later the duo of Madden and Pandolfo skated into the zone for an odd-man rush. Converting a quick passing play, Pandolfo tipped the shot as he got to the net for his first goal of the night.
Looking to bring the game within one, Vaclav Prospal and Hlavac tried to connect with the man advantage. Brodeur stymied the re-direction by Hlavac, sliding across the crease for the save.
Despite the save, Lecavalier connected for his seventh goal of the season to cut New Jersey’s lead in half. With 1:47 remaining in the second period, Lecavalier converted a Lightning power play.
After keeping the puck in the zone at the right point, Richards made a pass to St. Louis at the left faceoff circle. St. Louis dished the puck across to Lecavalier who one-timed a shot past the left glove side of Brodeur.
Lecavalier leads the Lightning in scoring against New Jersey this season with three goals through two games this season.
As the teams entered the final frame with the Devils holding a 2-1 lead, Richards flicked a hard wrist shot from the right hash marks but defenseman Paul Martin deflected the puck high over Brodeur. Shortly after the attempt New Jersey broke out with the first of four goals in the final 20 minutes of play.
Opening the third period scoring, Arron Asham tipped an Elias shot past Holmqvist for his third goal of the season. Madden and Pandolfo connected for a third time in the contest minutes later as Pandolfo fired a shot over Holmqvist from the left faceoff dot.
Connecting for their second power play goal of the night, Parise tipped a shot under Holmqvist’s leg to pick up his third score of the season before Pandolfo closed out the scoring with 1:20 remaining in the game. Scoring three goals in the contest, Pandolfo posted his first career hattrick with the score.
Brodeur earned the victory for the Devils by making 21 saves in his 900th career game. New Jersey out-shot Tampa Bay 30-22 in the contest, and Hlavac led all Lightning skaters with five shots in the contest.
In a chippy contest that saw three fights, each team scored once with the man advantage.
Scoring the lone marker for Tampa Bay, Lecavalier extended his current scoring streak to four games. The 9th year center has posted three goals and two assists in that span.
The Lightning close out their three-game road trip on Thursday, November 1 (7:00p.m., Sun Sports, 620 WDAE) when they face off against the New York Islanders. In the first meeting between the teams this season, Tampa Bay will play the second half of back-to-back games as they finish a stretch of six games in nine nights.
1 - 0 NJD
2 - 0 NJD
Martin St. Louis
2 - 1 NJD
3 - 1 NJD