After a crucial win over the Detroit Red Wings two nights ago, the Bolts returned to action Saturday evening against the New Jersey Devils of the Metro Division. The win against the Wings put them three points ahead of the Bruins in the Atlantic. A win over the Devils would keep the momentum going on this home stand.
No love for Lovejoy
It didn’t take long for the Devils to strike first. Defenseman Ben Lovejoy would get the scoring started three minutes in with his second of the season. The Lightning didn’t get their first shot on goal for five and a half minutes.
Kunitz continues to exercise the Devils
At the 12:41 mark of the first, Chris Kunitz tied it up with his ninth of the season on a beautiful back handed pass from Ryan Callahan. It’s the 13th goal against New Jersey in Kunitz career.
The second starts fast
The Lightning came out of the gates in the second fast. Back up goalie, Eddie Lack, had stood tall for the Devils facing 16 shots in the first allowing just one goal. However, it was Yanni Gourde and Bryden Point on an early power play teaming up to put the Bolts on top 2-1. Gourde would fire a shot from the left point and it would trickle underneath Lack. Point would poke it through for his 21st of the season.
A few minutes later – things got ugly.
Vladislav Namestnikov took a huge shot along the boards from Miles Wood. Andrej Sustr would come in to protect his teammate and, during the fight, bust his nose open. On the ensuing Lightning power play, the Devils would take a 3-2 lead on a short-handed goal from Pavel Zacha.
A very exciting second period would end with the Devils holding the 3-2 advantage.
Salt in the wound
It could be argued that Devil’s winger Miles Wood should have been ejected in the second period for his hit on Namestnikov. He did leave his feet, after all.
However that wasn’t the case. Less than 90 seconds into the third period, he would put New Jersey up 4-2 scoring his 16th of the season.
Steven Stamkos would pull them within a goal mid-way through the third seconds into a power play. It would be the 24th goal of the season for the captain.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 18, 2018
Shots, shots, shots!
Despite 51 shots on backup goalie Eddie Lack, the Bolts couldn’t muster the comeback and lose 4-3. The Bruins play at 10 PM this evening sitting just three points behind Tampa Bay.
*** G Eddie Lack (NJ) – Stood on his head for the Devils saving 48 of 51 shots.
** D Ben Lovejoy (NJ) – Got the scoring started for the Devils in the first and added an assist in the second period.
* C Steven Stamkos (TB) – The captain got himself a power play goal in the third to pull the Bolts within one.
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