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 loses to New Jersey Devils 2-1

NEWARK, N.J. — Lightning center Steven Stamkos spoke quietly Wednesday night.

"Things aren't going well," he said.

He spoke of doubting himself, passing up shots and his inability to generate any offense.

It was all on display during Tampa Bay's 2-1 loss to the Devils at the Prudential Center as the league's top goal scorer went without a shot on goal.

"It's tough," Stamkos said. "You don't have that confidence. You're hesitant. It's been tough. It's definitely frustrating."

Stamkos doesn't get the blame for the loss that ended the Lightning's three-game winning streak.

Ilya Kovalchuk's goal with 9:50 left in the third period broke a 1-1 tie after Tampa Bay defenseman Matt Smaby lost the puck in the defensive zone to Travis Zajac and right wing Steve Downie was out of position when the puck got to the Devils' top goal scorer.

But in a game in which the Lightning (37-19-7) had a season-worst 16 shots, Stamkos' input would have been welcome.

Stamkos, with a league-best 41 goals, has just one in nine games. And for the first time this season, he has zero shots in consecutive games.

In the second period Wednesday, he passed up an open shot from the right faceoff circle to pass to the middle to Marty St. Louis. The puck was knocked away.

"He's getting all kinds of opportunities to shoot the puck, and he doesn't," coach Guy Boucher said. "You want to pass up shots? Fine, pass up shots. You won't score goals."

"A lot of it has to do with, when things are going well, you have that swagger a little bit," Stamkos said. "When things aren't, you kind of doubt yourself. Maybe that's what's going on right now."

Stamkos wasn't the only offender against New Jersey, which is on an 18-2-2 run, is terrific positionally and clogs the middle of the ice.

St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell had one shot each. Downie had zero. And Dominic Moore's second-period power-play goal that gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead was a Pavel Kubina shot that deflected off Moore's skate.

But Stamkos has 22 percent of Tampa Bay's 187 goals. He can't afford to disappear.

"It will come back," general manager Steve Yzerman said of Stamkos' scoring touch. "There are times throughout the course of the season when for whatever reason it's not happening. … As a team, it's been a grind lately. It'll pick up again."

"I just have to keep doing the little things, go to the net, shoot the puck," Stamkos said. "I have to take it upon myself to start generating chances."

Devils 0 1 1 2
Lightning 0 1 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesGagne, TB (hooking), 13:17.

Second Period1, Tampa Bay, Moore 11 (Kubina, Hedman), 4:41 (pp). 2, New Jersey, Tallinder 4 (Kovalchuk, Zharkov), 18:45. PenaltiesSalmela, NJ (delay of game), 3:01; Stamkos, TB (goaltender interference), 6:27; Volchenkov, NJ (charging), 19:34.

Third Period3, New Jersey, Kovalchuk 22 (Zajac), 10:10. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 3-7-6—16. New Jersey 6-10-11—27. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 2; New Jersey 0 of 2. GoaliesTampa Bay, Roloson 18-20-2 (27 shots-25 saves). New Jersey, Brodeur 15-19-2 (16-15).

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to New Jersey Devils 2-1 03/02/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2011 7:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102