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Game Recap

Devils 2, Lightning 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Peter Pupello - Lightning Beat Reporter

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Devils 2, Lightning 1
Tampa Bay Lightning 1, New Jersey Devils 2

The Tampa Bay Lightning nearly made the best of limited opportunities.

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Despite being held to just 16 shots on the night, the Lightning took a one-goal lead through almost the full 40 minutes to start the game, including converting on one of two power plays, but in a rare instance, came up on the short end of its third straight one-goal game.

Dominic Moore had a second-period goal and Dwayne Roloson stopped 25 of 27 shots for the Lightning, who fell for just the first time in their last four in a 2-1 decision to the New Jersey Devils Wednesday night.

“It’s what we expected,” Moore said. “These are great games for us to play. They’re a tight defensive team and there weren’t a lot of chances either way, but these games give us a chance to prove ourselves.”

Ilya Kovalchuk scored the go-ahead goal at 10:10 in the final period for New Jersey, who has won 18 of its last 22 games.

Henrik Tallinder also scored for the Devils, who had an eight-game win streak snapped by Tampa Bay in the teams’ most recent meeting last Friday. Martin Brodeur turned in 15 saves.

“They’re a tight checking team,” Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer said. “They’re not going to give you a chance to get the game going. You’re going to have to grind it out because you know they’re not going to give you a lot of opportunities.”

Tampa Bay had won each of its previous two games by one-goal decisions. Wednesday’s loss was the team’s third straight game determined by a 2-1 score.

Kubina’s shot on the power play hit Moore’s skate out in front and opened the scoring to put Tampa Bay up 1-0 at 4:41 of the second.

“We knew that we had to have a good power play tonight,” Kubina said. “I knew Mooresy was in front of the net so I just tried to shoot it around there and hope for a tip-in or a deflection.”

Tallinder knotted things up towards the end of the middle frame. He wristed a shot past Roloson at 18:45 to send a 1-1 tie into the final 20 minutes.

The Lightning lead the Southeast Division with a three-point gap over the Washington Capitals. Wednesday’s loss, however, dropped them one spot in the conference standings down to third place behind Boston, who will wrap up Tampa Bay’s three-game road trip with a final contest Thursday night at TD Garden.

Kovalchuk, who was held without a point for the first time in 13 games in a victory over Florida on Sunday, put home his team-leading 22nd of the season midway through the third period with the eventual game-winner.

Devils forward Travis Zajac got things started when he intercepted a pass in the offensive zone before feeding the Russian winger between the circles. Kovalchuk reared back and fired off a one-timer that beat Roloson into the left corner of the net. Kovalchuk finished the night with two points.

A tight-checking first period was highlighted by some big saves by each team’s goalie. Roloson, who made six saves in the opening frame, made a nifty glove save off a snap shot by Devils rookie Nick Palmieri from between the circles at 3:03 in the first. Brodeur then turned away Nate Thompson on a shorthanded breakaway attempt with his glove at 13:53.

“Our players are really interested in the details and they care about them,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “So when you get into those one-goal games, the guys come together and do their best to come through.”

Martin St. Louis saw his nine-game point streak, the league’s longest active, come to an end.

Tampa Bay moved the NHL’s best record in one-goal games this season to 21-4-7.

scoring summary
1st Period
2nd Period
PPG - Dominic Moore (11) ASST: Pavel Kubina (18), Victor Hedman (20)
1 - 0 TBL
Henrik Tallinder (4) ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (23), Vladimir Zharkov (2)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
Ilya Kovalchuk (22) ASST: Travis Zajac (27)
2 - 1 NJD
penalty summary
1st Period
Simon Gagne  Hooking against  David Clarkson
2nd Period
Anssi Salmela  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Steven Stamkos  Interference on goalkeeper against  Martin Brodeur
Anton Volchenkov  Charging against  Simon Gagne
3rd Period
goalie stats
Dwayne Roloson
Dwayne Roloson
SA: 27TOI: 59:31
Saves: 25EV: 21 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .926SH: 1 - 1
Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur
SA: 16TOI: 60:00
Saves: 15EV: 13 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .938SH: 1 - 1