Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning ends skid, beats Devils

NEWARK, N.J. — So, that is what a winning locker room looks and sounds like.

Players smiling and laughing, music on the stereo and Lightning wing Marty St. Louis joking that reporters have "finally something good to write about."

Tampa Bay's 5-2 victory over the Devils Tuesday night at the Prudential Center that wrapped up a four-game road trip was good on many levels. The most basic: it broke a five-game losing streak.

There was Nate Thompson's first career two-goal game and goaltender Anders Lindback, in his first start since Feb. 24, with 25 saves in a solid effort, and even taking a shot, wide, at an empty net.

But most important was the way the Lightning (10-12-1) played — in control, smart with the puck, defensive minded, transitioning to offense without making what coach Guy Boucher calls "gambling" plays that so often have backfired and ended up in the Tampa Bay net.

Yes, the 91-second blip when the Devils scored shorthanded and on the power play to make it 4-2 with 4:45 left in the third period was bothersome.

"I'm not going to lie to you," defenseman Victor Hedman said, "it got a little nervous at the end."

Still, Thompson said the team, overall, played smart. "We did a great job of managing the game. We took the opportunities when we had them. There's a time and place for every time you go on offense. We did a great job of managing that."

"I've told the guys a thousand times if we just get rid of the impatience we'll be solid," Boucher said. "We'll get offensive chances without pressing and that's what we got. The guys deserve it."

Let's be honest, it helped that Tampa Bay faced a Devils squad that has lost six straight and is without injured goaltender Marty Brodeur. Still, those are the teams that should get a foot on the throat.

The Lightning did that by keeping New Jersey shooters to the outside and cleaning up rebounds left by Lindback. Hedman was huge in that area. Defenseman Eric Brewer also had a strong game after two straight in which his miscues led to opposition goals.

"When we play like this I feel comfortable because I know the guys are going to be there to help me if I screw up or if the puck bounces the wrong way," Lindback said.

St. Louis and Alex Killorn also scored and B.J. Crombeen got his first Lightning goal into an empty net. Cory Conacher and Vinny Lecavalier each had two assists.

Then there was Thompson, who has five goals on the season and added an assist Tuesday for a career-best three points.

"Don't expect this to happen all the time," he joked.

Everyone laughed.

Lightning 1 2 2 5
Devils 0 0 2 2

First1, Tampa Bay, Thompson 4 (Conacher, Palat), 17:04. PenaltiesSalo, TB (delay of game), :32; Labrie, TB, major (fighting), 11:34; Barch, NJ, major (fighting), 11:34.

Second2, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 6 (Killorn, Lecavalier), 5:53. 3, Tampa Bay, Killorn 4 (St. Louis, Lecavalier), 13:13. PenaltiesHenrique, NJ (holding), :41; Aulie, TB, major (fighting), 14:23; Clarkson, NJ, major (fighting), 14:23; Hedman, TB (roughing), 19:17; Janssen, NJ (charging), 19:17.

Third4, Tampa Bay, Thompson 5 (Conacher, Salo), 8:36. 5, New Jersey, Henrique 6 (Carter), 13:44 (sh). 6, New Jersey, Elias 6 (Zajac, Kovalchuk), 15:15 (pp). 7, Tampa Bay, Crombeen 1 (Hall, Thompson), 18:40 (en). PenaltiesGionta, NJ (slashing), 12:23; Labrie, TB (slashing), 15:00; Kovalchuk, NJ (hooking), 18:40. ShotsTampa Bay 4-10-10—24. New Jersey 10-4-13—27. Power playsTampa Bay 0 of 2; New Jersey 1 of 2. GoaliesTampa Bay, Lindback 8-5-1 (27 shots-25 saves). New Jersey, Hedberg 2-6-2 (11-8), Kinkaid (13:13 second, 12-11). A15,229 (17,625). T2:26.

Lightning ends skid, beats Devils 03/05/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 12:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane


    AUTAUGAVILLE, Ala. —The screen door hangs open to Laura's Country Kitchen but the dining room is empty with no one to feed.

    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.
  2. Lightning opens day two of draft by taking Russian forwards


    After taking a big defenseman in the first round, the Lightning opened the second day of the NHL Draft by selecting a couple skilled Russian forwards.

  3. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  4. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.