The New Jersey Devils edged the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 at Prudential Center in Newark on Tuesday night. The win pushes their record to 3-5-4 on the year.
The Least You Should Know:
- Two odd man rushes netted the Devils their first two goals. Adam Henrique scored a shorthander on a 2-on-1 and Jaromir Jagr scored on an even strength breakaway.
- In the first 35 minutes of the game, the Devils limited Tampa to just six shots on net.
- One way to stop the line of Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis is to score when they're on the ice. The Devils did that twice. They were both out there for Henrique's shorthanded goal and St. Louis made the giveaway on Jagr's goal.
- The Devils held the Lightning to only 17 shots on net.
Everything seemed to click for the Devils in the first 35 minutes. The forecheck was ferocious. The breakout was mostly clean from their own end. There was a neutral zone transition game with sharp passing. Their passes were also crisp and on the tape when they were in the attacking zone.
Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias teamed up for the first goal of the game just moments into the second period. Shorthanded, Henrique found himself on his off-wing with Elias on a 2-on-1. Henrique made an easy pass across the slot and Elias gave it right back to Henrique who buried it, setting the Prudential Center on fire.
"There was a lull in the second for five or six minutes, but other than that, the guys played great," said Henrique. "They battled hard. We'll keep moving forward here, keep building on it. Two in a row. It's nice."
Midway through the period, Martin St. Louis had a bad giveaway at the blue line of the offensive zone. Jaromir Jagr took it all the way, deked goaltender Ben Bishop and beat him blocker side to make it 2-0.
"My attitude changed this year," said Jagr. "I feel the cockiness coming back. I want to be the best I can be."
The Lightning got their lone goal on a power play. Teddy Purcell fired a puck into the slot that Steven Stamkos tipped. Brodeur stopped it cold but the rebound went right back to Stamkos, unmarked, and he poked it home for his ninth goal of the season.
Martin Brodeur didn't have to make many stops, but he made five or six point-blank saves over the final two periods.
"The way that we played the last two periods in Boston and all three periods of this game, that makes us feel good about what we've been talking about; having no result. Now we've got the results. We got a big weekend in front of us."
After hitting a lull at the end of that second period, the Devils grinded out a win in the third. They needed a game like this, where they had to hold off the opponent with the lead and take the victory. The Ranger win was a rout. The Bruins triumph was a crazy comeback. This was the type of game they blew earlier this month; holding a lead entering the third. This was big in the standings and their confidence.
1. Martin Brodeur - I know Jagr was voted No. 1, but Marty turned in a great performance. He only had to make 16 saves, but four or five of them were high quality stops. Hopefully, he's found his rhythm.
2. Jaromir Jagr - Besides the goal, he just gives a consistent shift each time he's on the ice. He makes the smart pass and does it crisply and he holds off defenders and controls the puck in the offensive end.
3. Adam Henrique - Rumblings were starting to rise to the surface about his slow start. That talk can stop. He's got goals in back-to-back games and three in his last five. He's starting to look like 2011-12 Henrique.