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newjerseydevils.com (Oct. 31) – The Devils haven't always fared well at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning in recent years. Maybe a change of venue can reverse that trend.
Following a loss in their Prudential Center debut, the Devils try to snap a four-game winless streak when they host the Lightning tonight (7:00 p.m., FSN NY, WFAN 660 AM).
After playing their first nine games of the season on the road while awaiting the arena's completion, the Devils (3-6-1) returned home Saturday only to lose 4-1 to Ottawa.
"We need to start figuring out ways to win games," said Brian Gionta, who scored the Devils' first and only goal at the Prudential Center. "There's no excuses: road trip, new arena; we've just got to win. We're not playing 60 minutes. That's the theme of the first 10 games."
New Jersey has not gone winless in five straight games since a seven-game stretch from Nov. 10-Nov. 23, 2001, and has not lost five straight since November 2000.
The Lightning (5-4-1) have won seven of their last eight games in New Jersey, scoring at least three goals every time.
Martin Brodeur is 24-14-2 with five ties and a 2.03 GAA in his career against Tampa Bay, but is 4-10-2 with three ties and a 2.55 GAA in 19 meetings since Dec. 4, 2001.
After posting a record 48 wins in 2006-07, Brodeur has gotten off to a 2-6-0 start this season.
New Jersey's offense has not been immune from the team's recent struggles. The Devils have totalled 22 goals this season. Only the Rangers have scored fewer (19) among Eastern teams.
The Devils have been limited to four goals in their last four games, and have been shutout twice in that span.
"We've got a new group of players in that locker room who are adjusting to how we want them to play," head coach Brent Sutter said. "And those players who've been here in the past, they've got to find a way to do better. I'm tired of all the excuses."
New Jersey eliminated Tampa Bay in six games in a first-round playoff series last season, but the Lightning opened this season with a 3-1 win over the Devils on Oct. 4 behind Vincent Lecavalier's two goals.
Lecavalier, tied for the team lead with 12 points, scored a goal on the road for the first time this season on a penalty shot Monday but the Lightning lost 3-1 to the Rangers.
Lecavalier has 13 goals and 15 assists in 33 games against the Devils.
Tampa Bay has been outscored 18-9 while losing all four of its road games in regulation. The only other Eastern team yet to record a road win is the Rangers.
Johan Holmqvist made 32 saves Monday, but allowed two power-play goals in the third period.
Brodeur's next start will be the 900th appearance of his career. Patrick Roy holds the all-time record with 1,026, followed by Terry Sawchuk (971), Ed Belfour (963), Curtis Joseph (913) and Glenn Hall (906)... Olli Malmivaara has been recalled from Lowell. The 6-7, 230-lb. rearguard has one assist in eight games this season with New Jersey's AHL affiliate... Tonight's matchup is the second of three straight home games. The Devils close out the homestand Friday vs. Toronto (7:00 PM, FSN NY, WFAN 660 AM). New Jersey wraps up the week Saturday night at MSG against the Rangers (7:00 PM, FSN NY2, WFAN).
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