NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, February 26th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (35-21-5) at New Jersey Devils (35-21-4), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will try to rebound from just their
second regulation loss since the All-Star break when they host the Tampa Bay
Lightning today at Prudential Center.
The Devils have compiled an excellent 9-2-1 mark since last month's All-Star
festivities in Ottawa, but New Jersey had a four-game winning streak halted
Friday by visiting Vancouver.
New Jersey also made news off the ice on Friday. During the 2-1 regulation
loss to the Canucks, it was announced that the Devils had acquired defenseman
Marek Zidlicky 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 has compiled 14 assists in 41 games with Minnesota this season and is
set to make his debut with the Devils today.
The Devils hope Zidlicky can help them down the stretch, as they fight for
positioning in the Eastern Conference playoff race. New Jersey enters today's
action one point behind both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for the fourth seed
in the Eastern Conference. The Devils are also two up on seventh-seeded
The Devils fired 31 shots at Vancouver's backup goaltender on Friday, but Cory
Schneider made 30 saves and stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period
to lift the Canucks to the 2-1 win in Newark.
David Clarkson had the lone goal for the Devils, while Martin Brodeur made 14
stops in the loss.
"It was a good test for us. I thought we played well," Devils forward Zach
The setback marked New Jersey's third loss in its last four home games. The
Devils are 16-11-3 as the host and 19-10-1 on the road this season.
New Jersey is hoping to get rookie defenseman Adam Larsson back on the ice
today. Larsson, who was the fourth overall pick of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft,
is questionable for this afternoon's tilt after missing the last 10 games with
a back problem.
The Lightning will try to bounce back from an embarrassing loss when they take
the ice today. Tampa Bay was annihilated Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh,
losing 8-1 as Evgeni Malkin burned the Lightning with a hat trick for the
second time this season. Malkin, the NHL's leading scorer this season, had a
five-point game against Tampa Bay on Jan. 15, when he posted three goals and
Dwayne Roloson was torched for all eight goals on 34 shots, while Teddy
Purcell was the lone scorer for the Bolts, who have lost two in a row since
winning three straight and are eight points out of a playoff spot in the East.
Today's test marks the end of a three-game road trip for the Lightning, who
are just 9-19-4 as the guest this year compared to an 18-9-2 mark in Tampa.
The Devils are 2-0 against the Lightning this year, winning a pair of games in
Tampa. New Jersey has taken three straight, five of six and 15 of the last 17
encounters with the Bolts and Tampa has lost two in a row and seven out of
eight in the Garden State.
02/26 10:39:20 ET