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Game Recap

Lightning Lose To Devils, 2-1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Lonnie Herman - TBL.com correspondent

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Lightning Lose To Devils, 2-1
New Jersey Devils 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 1
Shootout Woes Continue To Haunt Tampa Bay

It was déjà-vu on Halloween for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they fell to the New Jersey Devils in a shootout for the second time this season; this time by a score of 2-1.

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The game wasn’t as close as the score indicated, as Antero Nittymaki, starting in net for the Bolts, turned in a strong effort, thwarting the New Jersey attack time and time again. In the opening period he was called upon to make 13 saves, several of which were of the highlight reel variety, including a penalty shot by Jaime Langenbruner that Nittymaki stopped with a quick thrust of his left pad.

Nittymaki’s outstanding play in net was all the more important considering that the Lightning were giving New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur a pass at the other end of the ice, coming up with only three shots for the period, two of which were generated on Tampa Bay’s first power play opportunity.

The Lightning would see two more extra-attacker chances in the contest, but would fail to get a shot on the New Jersey net each time.

The Lightning difficulties continued in the second period, which included only six shots on net and a ten-minute plus drought during which they did not get a shot. New Jersey, meanwhile, continued their assault on the Lightning net with 15 shots, including a goal by Travis Zajac when he pounded a rebound home from just outside the Lightning goal crease.

The Devil’s were almost faultless on defense, back checking aggressively and disrupting Tampa Bay’s attack time and time again through the neutral zone.

When Tampa Bay Coach Rick Tocchet shook the lines in the third period, moving Tanguay back up with Vinny Lecavalier and reuniting Marty St. Louis with Steven Stamkos, the Lightning finally began to perk up, and thanks to Nittymaki holding the Devil’s lead to one goal, the Bolts did not have far to go to get back in the game.

Tampa Bay finally tied the game at 1-1 when Stamkos took a cross ice pass from St. Louis and bounced the puck off the back-checking Langenbruner, who deflected it past Brodeur at 4:34. The score by Stamkos, his team-leading 10th of the season, extended his scoring streak to seven consecutive games and his consecutive game goal-scoring streak to five. Malone and St. Louis earned assists on the goal. For St. Louis, the assist held intact his scoring streak, now at a team-record 11 games.

After the 1-1 tie stood through regulation and the four-on-four overtime was unable to resolve the issue, either, the game progressed to the shootout, which, based on their recent results, is exactly where Tampa Bay had hoped it wouldn’t go.

With the Lightning 0-3 in shootouts this season, Tocchet scrambled his shooters in an effort to change the result. Getting a chance to go one-on-one with Brodeur was Andrej Meszaros and Jeff Halpern, along with Stamkos and Lecavalier. Only Meszaros got close, but his backhand attempt, which seemed to have Brodeur beat, clanged off the goalpost.

Meanwhile, Nittymaki kept the game alive until the fourth New Jersey Devil shooter, David Clarkson,  ended the contest with a backhand flip into the Lightning net.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was one point, although Coach Tocchet wasn’t proud to grab it.

“We didn’t deserve the extra point,” Tocchet said. “We came out flat for the first two periods. Nittymaki was incredible tonight. He gave us a chance to get back into it.”

Tampa Bay did get back in. But that’s as far as it went. And they’d seen it all before.

Bolt Notes: With the shootout loss the Lightning are still the only team in the Eastern Conference without a regulation loss at home, going 4-0-3 at the Times Forum…With four misses, the Lightning are now 0-14 on the shootout this season…St.Louis’ assist was the 600th point in his career…Nittymaki finished with 37 saves on 38 shots…Lecavalier led the Lightning with five shots on goal…Mattias Ohlund led the club in time on ice with 28:58…The Lightning (4-3-4) head out for a four-game road trip which begins Monday in Philadelphia.

scoring summary
1st Period
2nd Period
Travis Zajac (6) ASST: Mark Fraser (1)
1 - 0 NJD
3rd Period
Steven Stamkos (10) ASST: Martin St. Louis (12), Ryan Malone (3)
1 - 1 Tie
OT Period
1A. MeszarosZ. Parise
2J. HalpernJ. Langenbrunner
3S. StamkosT. Zajac
4V. LecavalierD. Clarkson
penalty summary
1st Period
Matt Walker  Throwing stick against  David Clarkson
Zach Parise  Slashing against  Matt Walker
Andrew Peters  Interference against  Zenon Konopka
Steve Downie  Fighting (maj) against  Bryce Salvador
Bryce Salvador  Fighting (maj) against  Steve Downie
2nd Period
James Wright  Boarding against  Cory Murphy
David Clarkson  Hooking against  Ryan Malone
Vincent Lecavalier  Tripping against  Mike Mottau
Zenon Konopka  Interference against  Bryce Salvador
3rd Period
OT Period
goalie stats
Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur
SA: 19TOI: 65:00
Saves: 18EV: 16 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .947SH: 0 - 0
Antero Niittymaki
Antero Niittymaki
SA: 38TOI: 65:00
Saves: 37EV: 26 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .974SH: 3 - 3