NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 8th
(All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (0-2-0) at Tampa Bay Lightning (0-1-1), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils are still in search of their first
victory of the 2009-10 season. For the Tampa Bay Lightning, the drought has
been substantially longer.
Tampa Bay will be out to stop an 11-game losing streak dating back to last
season when the team returns to the St. Pete Times Forum tonight to host the
The Lightning have gone 0-8-3 since the franchise's last win, a 2-1 overtime
decision over Columbus on March 24. Tampa Bay went on to lose the final nine
tests of its 2009-10 campaign and finished with a meager 66 points, the least
of any NHL team other than the New York Islanders.
The club has dropped its first two matchups of this new season as well,
although it did manage to gain a point in Tuesday's shootout setback at
"It is a little mental right now," said Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet of
his team's lengthy skid. "We lost a lot last year. This was the second game of
the year, and now we are back at it and we have to stick with it."
Mike Smith turned aside 27-of-28 shots for the Lightning in regulation and
overtime, but allowed goals to Sergei Samsonov and Tuomo Ruutu in the shootout
that lifted the Hurricanes to a 2-1 triumph.
Ryan Malone had the lone goal for Tampa Bay, a power-play rebound of teammate
Steven Stamkos' shot that tied the game at 1-1 with six minutes left in the
New Jersey, last season's champions of the Atlantic Division, have started out
with back-to-back defeats at home to rivals Philadelphia and the New York
Rangers. The Devils were dealt a 3-2 loss by the Rangers this past Monday,
with rookie Matt Gilroy's goal late in the second period breaking a 2-2
"It's not fun starting out 0-2," said Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who
recorded 23 saves in Monday's game. "It's all about confidence. You want to
get that first win under your belt as soon as possible. I thought we played a
lot better [Monday], but we'll get it going."
The Devils suffered a 5-2 loss to the Flyers in Friday's season opener.
Rob Niedermayer and Travis Zajac had the goals for New Jersey against the
Rangers, with David Clarkson assisting on both markers.
Tonight's tilt begins a three-game road trip for the Devils, with the team to
also face Florida and Washington on the trek. New Jersey compiled a 23-15-3
record as the visitor last season.
The Devils have dominated this series recently, having posted victories in
seven straight meetings with Tampa Bay and winning all four encounters between
the squads in 2008-09.
10/08 10:54:14 ET