NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at New Jersey
(Sunday, February 26th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, New Jersey 3
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - A day after Evgeni Malkin registered four points in Pittsburgh's 8-1 rout of the Lightning, Martin St. Louis recorded his sixth career hat trick to go with an assist as Tampa Bay bounced back with a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils.
"After looking at yesterday's results, the scoring chances yesterday were 25-16 for us," Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher said of the Penguins' loss. "...Did we really get our butts kicked? No. Did it really not turn for us yesterday? Yes."
Matt Gilroy also tallied for the Lightning, who finished 1-2 on their three- game road trip. Mathieu Garon made 19 saves in the win.
Alexei Ponikarovsky, Petr Sykora and Zach Parise lit the lamp for the Devils, who have lost two straight since winning four consecutive games. New Jersey is still an impressive 9-3-1 since the All-Star break, but have dropped four of its past five home games.
Martin Brodeur allowed four goals on 16 shots for New Jersey.
The Devils headed into the final period trailing by a goal, but Sykora's one- timer from the right circle off Steve Bernier's feed tied the game at two early in the frame.
The Lightning, though, quickly regained the advantage 41 seconds later at the 3:09 mark. From the left circle, St. Louis sent a pass in front for Gilroy, who put it home from the crease.
St. Louis completed his hat trick midway through the period, giving the Bolts a two-goal cushion.
He sent a pass around the boards from the left side, which was corralled by Teddy Purcell at the right point. St. Louis positioned himself in the slot and tipped in Purcell's wrister.
Parise's power-play tally with 2:35 to play made it a 4-3 game, and New Jersey was given hope as St. Louis was called for a tripping penalty with a minute left.
But Tampa Bay killed off the 6-on-4 advantage, leaving the Garden State with a much needed victory.
The Devils struck first at the 12:07 mark of the first. Ponikarovsky stripped Ryan Malone in his own zone and lifted his wrister past Garon from the slot.
St. Louis netted a pair of tallies in the second.
He ripped his wrister into the upper-left corner from the slot at the 6:39 mark, and then gave the Bolts the lead late in the period with a wrister on the man advantage.
"The start was good, then we fell asleep in the second and they took advantage," New Jersey forward Ilya Kovalchuk said.
Marek Zidlicky made his debut for New Jersey on Sunday. On Friday, the Devils acquired the defenseman from Minnesota in exchange for forwards Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux, defenseman Kurtis Foster, a second-round pick in 2012 and a conditional third-round pick in 2013. Zidlicky compiled 14 assists in 41 games with Minnesota this season...Tampa Bay improved to 10-19-4 on the road this year...New Jersey fell to 23-9-3 when scoring the first goal.
02/26 17:20:18 ET