NHL: Lightning come out on top in shootout against Devils
Alex Killorn scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to another win over New Jersey, downing the Devils, 4-3, Thursday night in Newark, N.J.
After Tampa Bay’s Ross Colton and New Jersey’s Yegor Sharangovich left the match knotted at 1-1 after two shootout rounds, Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (32 saves) denied Jesper Boqvist in the top of the third.
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Killorn followed with the winning shot off the left post, giving the Lightning (41-22-6, 88 points) their second win in three days over the Devils (44-17-7, 95 points).
Steven Stamkos scored twice and had an assist, and Colton added one as the visitors improved to 4-1-1 in their past six games. Mikhail Sergachev had two assists while Vasilevskiy moved to 31-17-4 this season.
For the Devils, Timo Meier scored twice, and Tomas Tatar had one. Nico Hischier had two assists. Netminder Akira Schmid posted 21 saves but fell to 8-4-2.
On Sunday in Tampa, the two clubs will conclude their season series with the week’s third meeting.
In a mostly evenly played, penalty-free opening frame, Tampa Bay outshot the home side 10-8 and was the only side to find the net.
Just 69 seconds into the rematch, Sergachev’s long blast after a faceoff win by Stamkos struck the leg of Colton and caromed in for the second-line left winger’s 16th goal.
After beating Vasilevskiy just once in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss in Newark, the Devils matched that mark at 8:59 of the second when Tatar notched his 16th off a strong rush that started behind Schmid’s goal.
In a turning point moment in the second period, the Lightning killed off a full two-minute, five-on-three New Jersey power play after Stamkos and Erik Cernak went off together at 15:51.
To make matters worse for the Devils as they failed to score, they trailed just 20 seconds after Stamkos left the penalty box. The captain took a backhanded pass from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and snapped one home at 18:11 to put the visitors back up.
At 9:41 of the third, Meier scored his second goal with New Jersey and the first on his new home ice by sending home a rebound from a sharp angle.
The teams traded power-play goals in the last five minutes, with Stamkos netting his 29th at 15:13 and Meier answering with his 34th just 2:31 later.
–Field Level Media
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