NJD (14-13-1) @ TBL (12-15-2) St. Pete Times Forum 7pm VS/TSN2
Hedberg (300th start of his career!) vs Roloson
(side note, Devils have acquired D Kurtis Foster, and G prospect Timo Pielmeier for C Pelley, D Fraser and a 7th round pick in 2012. A great trade for guys who have been placed on waivers twice, getting a solid blueline shot and 40+ point scorer in Foster as well as goalie prospect which never hurts.)
Puck drop coming up from Tampa!
WOW! What a start! Salvador blueline shot rebounds right to Sykora's stick and the Devil's score at :28!
Devils are clearly causing Lightning fits here early, Tedenby with impressive work against the boards.
Eric Brewer takes a penalty for holding at 3:44, here comes the first PP of the night for Jersey. After a rather ineffective start to the powerplay, Henrique passes to Taormina and he throws one at the net from the blueline and Zubrus tips it in! 2-0 New Jersey at 5:38!
For the next 3 minutes or so, the teams trade dump in after dump in, until a good offensive zone attempt by the Devils when a T.V. timeout rescues a very tired looking Tampa team at 11:10.
A great save by Roloson on Clarkson saving a 3-0 gap, personally that should have been put in rather easily..the shots 8-2 NJ at the 10 minute mark.
I have to say, Clarkson is looking fantastic so far! As well is Taormina! The Devils are controlling this game completely in every aspect, just need to stay upbeat and aware of Malone's line.
Tampa finally getting some presence in the Devil's end but nothing to show just yet after a terrific save by Hedberg after a d-zone turnover, very sloppy play by Salvador.
Lightning getting some good looks in the last quarter of the period, finally catching up to the Devils speed thus far. Faceoffs still not the Devils forte' as seen in previous games.
And just like that its 2-1 Devils at 17:34, Downie from Gilroy and Stamkos with some beautiful passing work, no goalie would've stopped that one.
After a dump in, Tampa moves up like Flash and Blair Jones just drags the puck past Urbom and finishes it off past a rightfully angry Hedberg, 2-2 game now at 18:54, yes, that is 2 goals given up in 1:20. Ugly defense to say the least from the Devils.
End of the 1st Period and its a 2-2 game, Lightning with full momentum, Devils better get their act together in the locker room, the defense couldn't of looked any worse after the 15 minute mark. Yes Urbom and Palmieri, I'm talking about you two!
Shots were 11-10 NJ after starting 9-2. Faceoffs 12-11 TBL.
Puck has been dropped and were under way here in the 2nd period..
Off a random bounce in front, Parise scores! at :56 of the 2nd its 3-2 New Jersey! Great work getting that puck down deep, Roloson should not have let that one in at all thats why he's being pulled here comes Garon, assist come from Henrique his 2nd of the night, 16th of the year, as well as Tallinder.
Hedberg's new found stick work saves a goal from happening as Tampa is trying to even things back up, Devils continue to own the boards..
Ryan Carter accidentely knocks down Garon out of the crease and Kubina goes after him, as anyone would but, what a bad matchup for Kubina, Carter wins that rather quickly and Kubina has a facial laceration. Both to serve 5 minute majors at 4:43 of the 2nd.
Goal New Jersey! Gilroy gives it up to Parise and both he and Kovalchuk take off towards Garon, Parise gives it to Kovy and rooftop it goes! His 9th of the year, and it is 4-2 New Jersey at 5:42 of the 2nd!
Penalty to NJD, their first minor of the night assessed to Larsson for Interference at 8:12 and the league's top PK unit goes to work. Taormina gets a Delay of Game call after Kovalchuk's lost puck on a breakaway, 20 seconds of 5 on 3 here for Tampa at 9:52. 1st penalty is killed successfully, Bolts are pressing hard. Fantastic assignment work by the Devils PK'ers and both penalties are killed off!
New Jersey takes yet another penalty, a trip in the slot on Blair Jones. On a 2 on 1 its Henrique with a short-handed goal assisted by Parise and Fayne! WOW! 5-2 Devils at 13:23. The Devils kill off the penalty as well. (Seriously guys, 6 short-handed goals on the year so far and 2nd of the night alone!)
Again with another Interference call on Larsson at 16:21. Lecavalier with an open chance in front and Moose with one dandy of a save! Maybe his best of the season so far! Kovalchuk continues his magnificent PK work driving in the TB zone against 4 men all himself and the Devils kill their 4th PK of 4 tonight!
Well, its about time! The Bolts commit a penalty, Dominic Moore for Tripping at 19:11. Zubrus and Elias together cause havoc and nearly get one in before the end of the period but it rings off the pipe! That's the end of the 2nd, the Devils will have 1:11 of carry over time.
Shots for the 2nd period were 17-7 TBL, 27-18 TBL overall.
The 3rd period is now underway as well as Jersey's PP..
Rather uneventful 2nd half of the powerplay and the Bolts kill it off.
After Clarkson spars with Malone each receiving their 5 minute majors, Kovalchuk and Henrique nearly put one home with some absolutely beautiful work, seriously the line of Parise-Henrique-Kovy better not be touched.
Henrique setting up yet another play to Parise and Parise is slashed down in a pretty bad way into the boards and the Devils will go on the PP once again at 4:49, Parise does look okay just a tad bit uncomfortable...Yes, Parise is back out, no sweat folks he is just fine! Yet again, in a rather uneventful Devils powerplay, I know..I know..it expires and the Bolts kill another.
Less than 14 minutes left here in Tampa, I have a break now to thank anyone reading this as it is my first game report, rather lengthy I know but I like to see a descriptive and detailed report when I cannot watch a game.
The Devils defense has certainly picked up since the horrifying final 8 minutes of the 1st period, blocking almost every shot it seems. As I say that a scrum occurs in front of Moose and Downie squares off with Urbom, wow some spirit out of Urbom! That little fight was simply Urbom being sick of Downie shoving him in Moose' crease, somehow the refs decide there will be a powerplay awarded to Tampa. Cross-Checking assessed to Urbom but served by Sestito at 11:37, Tampa's 5th PP of the contest. Beautiful defense by Salvador stopping a great chance for the Bolts.
Well, Stamkos buries one after Elias fans on a clear in front of Moose at 9:29 the Bolts cut it to 5-3 NJD with a PPG, assist comes from Moore.
With 7:56 remaining the Bolts are sure coming at Hedberg hard now, Moose with a brilliant save on Thompson keeps the lead at 2 for Jersey's Team.
Clarkson-Elias-Sykora line with a fantastic minute long cycle around in Tampa's zone taking the clock to 6:18, only to be followed up with great defensive zone work by Boulton and company, 5:03 remaining, it's crunch time folks!
Hedberg doing some serious work again as Stamkos nearly nets one, Parise clearing a juicy rebound, though. Less than 4 minutes remaining, Bolts showing life again.
New Jersey timeout at 3:26. (Downie yelling across the bench at Clarkson, love this! Anyone who can eat at Downie wins in my book!)
Zubrus doing absolutely wonderful board work in the Tampa zone killing as much time as possible, both he and Clarkson have perfected that tonight. 1:21 remaining, Tampa pulls Garon in desperate hopes. Timeout Tampa Bay.
Devils can't bury the empty netter just yet and Tampa scores to make it a one goal game! Stamkos with :33.5 to play, assisted by Vinny and Kubina!
That's it folks! Scary ending here, but the Devils hold on just enough! 5-4 victory NJD, their first regulation win since Nov. 25th!
This win brings New Jersey to 15-13-1, 31 points and back into 8th place!
Tampa's loss drops them even further to 12-16-2, 26 points.
Shots were 36-22 TBL, Face-Offs 34-29 NJD.
At 24:56, Tallinder led NJD in ice-time, Sestito the least at 4:20.
3 Stars of the Game:
1. Zach Parise 1G, 2A
2. Adam Henrique 1G, 2A
3. Steven Stamkos 2G, 1A
Thank you all for the read and/or any comments, a good hard fought victory for the Devils, I'll be back for the game tomorrow night in Sunrise at 7:30pm EST!