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)

Tampa Bay Lightning beats New Jersey Devils 4-3 behind Marty St. Louis hat trick

NEWARK, N.J. — Coach Guy Boucher was so happy with the nickname he gave Marty St. Louis, he made sure the player heard him use it.

"There's the 'little giant,' " he called out as the Lightning wing walked by in the Prudential Center.

St. Louis made a good-humored nod before opening the door to a meet-and-greet area where he was enveloped by cheers and picture flashes.

It was a well-earned attaboy for the 5-foot-7 player, who Sunday had a hat trick and four points in a 4-3 win over the Devils that took some of the edge off a disappointing 1-2-0 road trip.

"He's been an incredible leader," Boucher said. "When you realize what he's done, what he keeps doing, it has to inspire."

The Lightning (28-28-6) needed someone to provide some equilibrium. Saturday's 8-1 loss in Pittsburgh was bad enough. But a roster depleted by trades and injuries was slapped again by the loss of defenseman Victor Hedman to a possible concussion. That's bad news for a team 11th in the Eastern Conference, six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. But with 11 of its next 16 games at home, where the Lightning is 18-9-2, and the power play suddenly clicking with five goals in 16 chances, players believe they have a chance.

"You want to fight until the end," St. Louis said. "We talked about it before the game. 'Let's just make sure we keep hanging around, and you never know what happens.' We go back home and give ourselves a chance. We did that by getting two points."

St. Louis' third goal, his 22nd of the season, was the winner; it made the score 4-2 with 9:42 left in the third period.

Tampa Bay also got a huge goal from Matt Gilroy, whose tap-in 3:09 into the third made it 3-2 41 seconds after Petr Sykora tied it.

Teddy Purcell, with four goals and 11 points in a six-game points streak, had three assists. Steven Stamkos had two points, and Mathieu Garon made 19 saves. New Jersey had a 22-16 shot advantage. That's right, Tampa Bay scored on four of 16 shots against future Hall of Famer Marty Brodeur.

Garon even got an assist. His pass to Stamkos past the red line helped set up St. Louis' first goal.

"A great play," St. Louis said, "a heads-up play."

There was a blip when the Lightning had to survive St. Louis' tripping penalty with 59 seconds left.

Still, "he's such a great leader for us," Garon said of the Laval, Quebec, native who has two hat tricks this season and six in his career. "Every time he's got the puck, he's dangerous. That's why he's one of the top players."

"He is," Boucher said, "the little giant."

Lightning 0 2 2 4
Devils 1 0 2 3
Lightning 0 2 2 4
Devils 1 0 2 3

First Period1, N.J., Ponikarovsky 12, 12:07. PenaltiesZidlicky, NJ (holding), 13:04.

Second Period2, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 20 (Stamkos, Garon), 6:39. 3, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 21 (Purcell, Stamkos), 14:55 (pp). PenaltiesZubrus, NJ (holding stick), 8:17; Kovalchuk, NJ (tripping), 13:46; Smith, TB (hooking), 15:47; Stamkos, TB (hooking), 20:00.

Third Period4, N.J., Sykora 15 (Bernier, Zubrus), 2:28. 5, Tampa Bay, Gilroy 2 (St. Louis, Purcell), 3:09. 6, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 22 (Purcell, Brewer), 10:18. 7, N.J., Parise 23 (Kovalchuk, Elias), 17:25 (pp). PenaltiesStamkos, TB (tripping), 15:36; St. Louis, TB (tripping), 19:00. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 6-6-4—16. N.J. 8-6-8—22. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 3; N.J. 1 of 4. GoaliesTampa Bay, Garon 20-16-4 (22 shots-19 saves). N.J., Brodeur 22-15-2 (16-12).

Tampa Bay Lightning beats New Jersey Devils 4-3 behind Marty St. Louis hat trick 02/26/12 [Last modified: Monday, February 27, 2012 11:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)


    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.