TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils meet for the third and final time this season Saturday -- all in the first month of the season -- and after splitting the first two meetings, Tampa Bay might want to try a different start.
In both a 3-2 win in Tampa three weeks ago and a 3-1 loss on the road last weekend, the Lightning opened the game down 2-0 to the Devils after one period, an early struggle that's been a regular part of the Lightning's season so far. They're 6-4-1, but they've given up the first goal in seven of those 11 games.
"Clearly, it's troublesome," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper after another 2-0 deficit in Thursday's home shootout loss to the Bruins -- in the 10th frame of the shootout. "We fell down (Thursday) but I didn't think we should have been down 2-0. When they got their legs under them, they played well enough to win."