NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 2nd (All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (37-18-7) at New Jersey Devils (27-31-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will try to exact a measure of revenge tonight, when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning for a showdown at Prudential Center.
The Devils carried an eight-game winning streak into Friday's battle with the Lighting in Tampa, but the Bolts wound up notching a 2-1 regulation victory over New Jersey. It was the Devils' first regulation setback since losing in Detroit on Jan. 26.
Tampa received goals from Simon Gagne and Martin St. Louis in the second period of Friday's 2-1 win over the Devils and Dwayne Roloson made 19 stops to secure the victory. It was Tampa Bay's first win against the Devils in three meetings this season.
Despite Friday's loss, New Jersey has still taken 12 of 14 overall from the Lightning and Tampa has also lost six of its last seven trips to the Garden State.
New Jersey was right back in the win column after the loss to Tampa, as the Devils recorded a 2-1 regulation victory of their own Sunday against the hosting Florida Panthers.
Martin Brodeur stopped 25-of-26 shots to lead the way in his first action since Feb. 6. Brodeur, the NHL's all-time leader in wins and shutouts, had missed a small amount of time due a right knee injury in February, but also served as the backup to the red-hot Johan Hedberg upon returning from that ailment.
Hedberg had won seven straight games before getting the loss Friday against Tampa. Brodeur, who is 2-0 with a 2.50 goals-against average against Tampa this season, is expected to get the start tonight.
David Clarkson and Brian Rolston scored for the Devils on Sunday, helping boost New Jersey's playoff hopes. The Devils are currently seeded 13th in the East and are 11 points out of the conference's final postseason berth.
The Devils are hoping to debut forward David Steckel tonight after he was acquired in a trade Monday with Washington. New Jersey sent veteran forward Jason Arnott to the Capitals for Steckel and a second-round draft pick in 2012.
Steckel, a former first-round pick of the Kings in 2001, totaled five goals and 11 points in 57 games primarily as a fourth-liner with the Caps this season.
New Jersey has won four straight on home ice and is 14-13-3 as the host this season.
The Lightning, who lead the Southeast Division by three points over Washington, will aim for a fourth straight victory tonight. After defeating the visiting Devils on Friday, Tampa headed north to best the New York Rangers by the same score on Sunday.
Roloson made 22 saves and Vinny Lecavalier scored the winner early in the third as the Lightning took the 2-1 decision at Madison Square Garden.
"I know it sounds like a cliche, but I go out every night trying to do everything I can to give the team a win," said Roloson. "Tonight, we battled through and we're able to get a close victory."
St. Louis finished the game with a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who were playing their first game after going 7-3-2 on their record-tying 12-game homestand.
Tampa, which is 16-11-3 as the visiting club this year, is playing the middle test of a three-game road trip tonight and will complete the swing Thursday in Boston.
03/02 10:38:25 ET