NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 14th (All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (11-29-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (26-13-5), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Devils set a season high for goals scored when they faced the Lightning less than a week ago. A rematch scheduled for tonight at St. Pete Times Forum could result in the club winning two in a row for the first time in nearly two months.
New Jersey, winners in just three of its last 18 games overall, aim to halt an 11-game road losing streak and pick up a sixth straight victory in Tampa on Friday night.
The Devils are last in the NHL with just 24 points and haven't won consecutive games since Nov. 22-24. However, they have won 11 of their last 12 versus the Lightning, including Sunday's 6-3 victory in Newark.
David Clarkson's second goal of the game started a five-goal third period for the Devils, who improved to 2-25-0 this year when trailing after two periods. Recently-named All-Star Patrik Elias notched a goal and two assists, while both Ilya Kovalchuk and Brian Rolston ended with two helpers each.
Making his first start since Jan. 1, Martin Brodeur finished with 33 saves to snap his club's four-game slide and pick up his first victory since Dec. 15.
"It's been tough for us," Brodeur said. "If you don't give the fans anything to cheer for, it's hard for them to cheer. I think today was a more exciting game for them, a more exciting game for us."
New Jersey, which opens a three-game road trip, has won five straight at St. Pete Times Forum and hasn't lost there since Oct. 4, 2007. However, the Devils haven't won on the road this season since Nov. 3 and are 4-16-0 overall as the guest this year. It is the franchise's worst road slide since dropping 12 in a row from Oct. 19-Dec. 1, 1983.
While the Devils have been idle since their last meeting with the Lightning, Tampa Bay notched a 3-0 victory over Washington on Wednesday, the club's second shutout of the Capitals in just over a week. Dwayne Roloson made 23 saves and improved to 3-1-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average since being acquired from the Islanders as the Lightning moved two points clear of the Caps for first place in the Southeast Division.
Roloson's two shutouts since joining the club are his first of the season and he owns 26 in his career.
"I was able to see probably about ninety-nine percent of the shots," Roloson said.
Dominic Moore, Sean Bergenheim and Simon Gagne scored for Tampa Bay, which has won five of its last seven overall and seven of the last eight played at home.
The 41-year-old Roloson was not in net for last week's game versus the Lightning and is 2-6-0 with a pair of ties and 2.66 GAA lifetime versus the Devils.
Dan Ellis allowed four goals on 24 shots on Sunday versus New Jersey, with Teddy Purcell and Ryan Malone getting the goals.
Brodeur is 8-1-0 in his last nine versus Tampa Bay with a 2.26 GAA.
01/14 10:45:38 ET