Devils 2, Lightning 1 F/SO
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:46 AM
|Zajac's sixth of the season broke a scoreless tie in the second period on Saturday.
The wins just keep piling up for the Devils on the road.
It took a shootout on Saturday, but the Devils improved their road record to 7-0 with a 2-1 victory over the Lightning in Tampa Bay. New Jersey extended its franchise mark for road victories to start a season.
's backhander past Antero Niittymaki clinched it for New Jersey in the fourth round. Martin Brodeur
made 18 saves before thwarting all four Lightning attempts in the shootout for his NHL-record 31st shootout victory.
and Jamie Langenbrunner
were stopped for the first time in three shootout chances this season, and Travis Zajac
misfired on his first attempt of 2009-10. Brodeur watched Andrej Meszaros hit the right post on Tampa Bay's first try, then got a piece of the next three Lightning attempts to deny Jeff Halpern, sophomore standout Steven Stamkos, and Vincent Lecavalier.
Brodeur carried a shutout 4:34 into the third period, when Stamkos notched his 10th for the Lightning's lone goal. Already the winningest goaltender in NHL history, Brodeur needs one more shutout to tie Terry Sawchuk for the League record (103).
The Devils tied Toronto (1940-41), Philadelphia (1985-86) and Detroit (2005-06) for the second longest road winning streak ever to open a season. The all-time mark belongs to Buffalo, which went 10-0 on the road to start the 2006-07 season.
New Jersey dominated the first two periods in Tampa Bay (4-3-4), outshooting the Lightning 28-9 after two periods. All the Devils had to show for it was Zajac's sixth of the season, which had them ahead, 1-0, entering the third.
Langenbrunner was awarded his first career penalty shot in the first period, but was denied by Niittymaki, who finished with 37 saves and was named the game's First Star.
Minus their top two defenseman (Paul Martin, forearm; Johnny Oduya, lower body) and one of their top penalty killers (Jay Pandolfo, shoulder), the Devils (8-4-0) gritted out their eighth win in 10 games by improving to 3-0 in the shootout.
The Devils became the League's first 7-0 road team by prevailing in the same place they earned their first road win. Back on Oct. 8, it was Zajac who scored with one second remaining to tie the game at 3 before New Jersey earned a 4-3 win in the shootout.
Langenbrunner, who had a shootout goal in New Jersey's last trip to Tampa Bay, had a chance to put the Devils on top in the first period with his first career penalty shot.
With Andrew Peters in the box for interference, Martin St. Louis mishandled the puck at the right point. As Langenbrunner collected the puck and raced up ice, Lecavalier reached in from behind with his stick. The Devils' captain stayed on his feet and skated in alone for a shot on Niittymaki at 14:26.
On the penalty shot, Langenbrunner moved in, deked left and put a low shot on goal that Niittymaki blocked with his left pad. It was the first career penalty shot for Langenbrunner, and the first for the Devils since Brendan Shanahan scored on Tampa Bay's Karri Ramo on April 3 of last season.
Zajac broke a scoreless tie 50 seconds into the second period, when he redirected Mark Fraser
's shot from the point then poked home his own rebound. Zajac's first tally in three games tied Parise for the team goal lead.
Devils special teams were outstanding, killing three Lightning power plays and allowing only two shots. New Jersey was 0-for-4 with the man advantage, but came close to making a 2-0 game when Andy Greene
's shot from the point hit the cross bar and slid wide of the net.
|Fans turned out to support the Devils in Tampa Bay.
Stamkos put the Lightning on the board in the third period. His centering attempt for St. Louis deflected off the skate of Bryce Salvador
, and eluded Brodeur at 4:34 of the final frame.
The Devils host Washington on Wednesday and the New York Islanders on Friday.
The last four meetings between New Jersey and Tampa Bay, including five of the last six, have either gone to overtime or a shootout.
• Head coach Jacques Lemaire had Parise, Zajac and Langenbrunner together on the top line. Rob Niedermayer centered Brian Rolston
and Clarkson, and Dainius Zubrus
centered Niclas Bergfors and Ilkka Pikkarainen.
On defense, Colin White
was paired with Mike Mottau; Salvador with Greene; and Fraser with Cory Murphy
. Murphy faced his former team for the first time since appearing in 25 games with the Lightning in 2008-09.
• Salvador edged Steve Downie in a fight with 1:22 left in the first period. Salvador later took a puck up high when Zenon Konopka's shot deflected up and caught him in the right side of his head.
• Pikkarainen nearly had his first NHL goal with 13:07 left in the first, but was stopped by Niittymaki on a 2-on-1 with Zubrus.