NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 8th (All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (16-16-10) at New Jersey Devils (30-10-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will shoot for a third straight win when they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning for tonight's battle at Prudential Center.
The Devils are tops in the Eastern Conference with 61 points and are also leading Pittsburgh by six points for first place in the Atlantic Division. In addition to winning two straight and four of its last five games, New Jersey has posted a 16-4-0 record over its last 20 contests.
Jersey was dealt a 5-1 setback in Chicago on New Year's Eve, but has bounced back with victories over Minnesota and Dallas. The Devils notched a 5-3 victory over the Wild in St. Paul on Saturday and returned to Newark for Tuesday's decisive victory against the Stars.
Martin Brodeur posted 28 saves for his fifth shutout of the season to lead the Devils to the 4-0 victory over Dallas.
Patrik Elias scored twice for the Devils, while Travis Zajac and Zach Parise each added a goal. Brodeur, meanwhile, recorded the 106th career shutout of his career, extending his NHL record in that category.
"It's always a big team effort whenever you get a shutout," said Brodeur. "It was nice to play a solid game at home -- we did a great job offensively and defensively."
The Devils have won six straight on home ice and are 16-6-0 as the host this season. Next up for New Jersey is a five-game road trip, which is scheduled to begin Saturday in Montreal.
Tampa Bay will try to bounce back from a loss when it takes the ice tonight. The Lightning began 2010 on a positive note when they beat visiting Pittsburgh, 3-1, last Saturday, but the Buffalo Sabres dealt Tampa a 5-3 loss Wednesday in western New York.
The Lightning were done in by a poor start against the Sabres as Tyler Myers set the tone with a goal 23 seconds in and Buffalo scored three times in the opening two-plus minutes before holding on for the win at HSBC Arena.
Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning, who had a streak of four straight games with a point halted. Mike Smith was tagged for all five scores on 35 shots.
St. Louis has registered a point in eight straight games, posting four goals and seven assists during the run.
Tonight's test marks the middle segment of Tampa's three-game road trip that will end Saturday in Philadelphia. The Lightning are just 6-11-5 as the visiting team this season.
The Devils have won all three meetings with Tampa this year, but two of those three victories came after regulation and every contest was decided by just one goal. New Jersey has won 10 straight overall in the series and has taken five in a row on home ice.
01/08 10:33:44 ET