NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Tampa Bay|
(Thursday, February 19th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Tampa Bay 2 (SO)
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Patrik Elias had the deciding goal in the
shootout, as the New Jersey Devils rallied to clip the Tampa Bay Lightning,
3-2, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Zach Parise and Brian Rolston each scored a power-play goal for the red-hot
Devils, who have won five of their last six games. Kevin Weekes was stellar
between the pipes, making 39 saves to extend his personal win streak to five
Ryan Malone notched both goals for the Lightning, who have lost eight of 10.
Karri Ramo got the loss despite a 38-save performance.
"You've got to give Weekes credit," said Tampa Bay head coach Rick Tocchet.
"He was shaky in the beginning and he really got solid as the game went on. He
battled and as a coach, you always look for goalies to battle like Ramo, he
Bolts captain Vincent Lecavalier and Parise both scored on the backhand in the
first round of the shootout. After Vinny Prospal was turned away by Weekes,
Elias faked a shot, freezing Ramo, and slipped the puck between the
goaltender's pads. Weekes then made a stick save on Malone to seal the win.
Tampa Bay led 2-0 after the first period courtesy of Malone.
The Pittsburgh native gathered the puck in the low slot, spun around and slid
it past the right pad of Weekes at the 4:33 mark. Malone then dashed along the
left-wing boards, drifted to the top of the circle and fired a wrister that
went off the catching glove of Weekes with 7:05 remaining.
New Jersey, though, used the power play to spur a comeback.
At 2:16 of the middle stanza, Rolston put the Devils on the board with a laser
from the point that squeezed under the glove and over the left pad of Ramo.
The visitors pulled even on Parise's 35th goal of the season. Jamie
Langenbrunner's drive from up high pinballed off bodies and the diminutive
left winger eventually shoveled the puck home at 1:13 of the third period.
"I thought especially during the last two periods we really started creating
some things offensively," said Devils head coach Brent Sutter. "We played with
more composure with the puck and outside of the second goal, Weekes played
Weekes denied Evgeny Artyukhin on a breakaway near the seven-minute mark to
keep the score deadlocked at two.
Parise is now second in the league in goals behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin
(42)...Lecavalier assisted on both of Malone's goals...New Jersey has won six
in a row against the Lightning, who announced Thursday that defensemen Paul
Ranger and Andrej Meszaros are both scheduled to undergo season-ending
shoulder surgery on March 3.
02/20 00:02:19 ET