New Jersey Devils 4 at Tampa Bay Lightning 3
- Attendance: 19,092
- Three Stars: 1. Eddie Lack (NJD) 2. Nikita Kucherov (TBL) 3. Nico Hischier (NJD)
**See @NJDevils on twitter and newjerseydevils.com for post-game pressers and sound**
New Jersey defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, in their only meeting at Amalie Arena this season. The Devils lead the season-series, 2-0-0, and will face the Lightning for their third and final match-up on March 24 at Prudential Center. New Jersey defeated the Hurricanes, two days ago, 5-2, at Prudential Center. The Devils have won their last three games Feb. 13-17, after suffering a season-long (tie) four consecutive losses, Feb. 6-11.
- Oct. 17 – TBL 4 @ NJD 5 Ws (1-0-0)
- Feb. 17 – NJD 4 @ TBL 3 W (2-0-0)
- Mar. 24- TBL @ NJD
Tonight’s contest was the first game of New Jersey’s 12th set of back-to-back games this season. The Devils are 6-4-2 in first games and are 5-6-0 in second games of back-to-backs. The club will face-off against their Metropolitan Division rival, Carolina Hurricanes, tomorrow evening at PNC Arena (5PM, MSG+, TOJN).
It was the club’s 30th win of the season. They are 30-20-8 (68PTS) overall which is tied with PHI for third in the Metro Div.
The Devils allowed 51 shots against, which is the most an opponent has had against the club this season. NJD had 28 shots.
The Devils were 0-3 on the power play tonight, but scored a shorthanded goal when Pavel Zacha lit the lamp at 6:27 of the second period. It was his first career SHG.
Ben Lovejoy scored his second goal of the season to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 2:59 of the first period. It was his first goal since Nov. 5 at CGY (30 games) and his first point since his assist, Feb. 1 vs. PHI (7GP). He is 8PTS away from 100 in his NHL career (18G-74A-92PTS). The goal was unassisted. His shorthanded assist on Zacha’s goal was the first SHP of his NHL career.
Nico Hischier, scoring his 12TH goal of the season. His 38PTS this season ranks second on the club behind Taylor Hall (61PTS). The Brig, Switzerland native leads all European-born NHL rookies in points and Jesper Bratt (Stockholm, Swe.), 33PTS, ranks second.
Hall and Sami Vatanen assisted on Hischier’s marker. Hall extended his career-high point-streak to 10 games, Jan. 3o-Feb. 17 (6G-7A-13PTS). It is the longest-such streak in franchise history and the the longest active streak in the league. Hall also extended his personal scoring streak to 17 straight games, 11G-14A-25PTS from Jan. 2-Feb. 17.
Vatanen added a second assist for his second multi-assist and has 4A (4PTS) over the last three games, Feb. 11-16. He leads all Devils blueliners in scoring since Dec. 30 with 15PTS (1G-14A).
Eddie Lack made a career-high 48 saves for his first win as a Devil (also career-high 51 shots against). It was his second start in goal with NJD (first since, Feb. 11 vs. BOS; 3-5 L). It was his first victory against Tampa Bay in his 143 game career (1-3-2 overall).
Before the game, New Jersey recalled, Blake Pietila, from Binghamton (AHL). He met the team in Tampa Bay.
9 Taylor Hall – 13 Nico Hischier – 21 Kyle Palmieri
63 Jesper Bratt – 37 Pavel Zacha – 36 Nick Lappin
44 Miles Wood – 19 Travis Zajac – 23 Stefan Noesen
10 Jimmy Hayes – 40 Blake Coleman – 18 Drew Stafford
6 Andy Greene – 45 Sami Vatanen
2 John Moore – 28 Damon Severson
8 Will Butcher – 12 Ben Lovejoy
31 Eddie Lack
1 Keith Kinkaid
TOMORROW: No Morning Skate; 5PM at Carolina Hurricanes (MSG+, TOJN)
TUESDAY: 10:30AM Morning Skate at Prudential Center; 7PM vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (MSG+, TOJN)
WEDNESDAY: Noon Practice at RWJBarnabas Hockey House
THURDAY: 10:30 Morning Skate at Prudential Center; 7PM vs. Minnesota Wild (MSG+, TOJN).
FRIDAY: Noon Practice at RWJBarnabas Hockey House
SATURDAY: 10:30 Morning Skate at Prudential Center; 7PM vs. New York Islanders (MSG+, TOJN)