Dainius and the Devils Dominate

By on November 20, 2011
New Jersey Devils right-winger Dainius Zubrus (photo by USPRESSWIRE/Ken Hoffman)

Tampa, Fla. – With only three shots in the first twenty minutes for the Tampa Bay Lightning I can’t imagine there was a tea party in the Lightning locker room during the first intermission.   Kind of a foreshadow of the final.  Only three shots in the first period  hardly enough to ruffle the goal pads of 39 year-old Martin Brodeur. 

 The Lightning hi-light of the first period was to see Ryan Malone back on the ice.  He took 8 shifts logging 4:21 of ice time.  Malone who has missed four games was listed day-to day with an upper body injury.

The Devils struck the scoreboard first early in the second (1:09) when Devils right-winger Dainius Zubrus beat Dwayne Roloson after Zubrus made a delay move that put Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer on his stomach.   Zubrus used Steve Stamkos as a screen who was back-checking on the play.

New Jersey would take a two goal lead at 6:05 of the second stanza on an impeccably executed give and go between Patrik Elias and David Clarkson.   Elias dropped the puck back to Clarkson who calmly gave it back to Elias who made a neat move to slide the puck past Roloson via five hole.  2-0 Devils.

The Devils long 5 on 3 was killed off by the Lightning mid period to keep the game from getting out of hand.  Since Martin Brodeur gives up just over three goals a game a three goal deficit would be overwhelming.  The 5 on 3 kill did bring the somewhat fatigued crowd of 18,894 to life.

At 14:34 Marty St. Louis was working hard in the offensive zone possessing the biscuit and drew a high-stick infraction by Jersey defenseman Mark Fayne.   The Lightning power play did not phase the Devils as the hometown Lightning only managed two shots.

With five seconds left in the Fayne sentence, Tampa defenseman Pavel Kubina is summoned to the sin-bin for a holding call and New Jersey cashed in.  A huge three goal lead as David Clarkson scored his 7th of the season from Adam Henrique and  Ilya Kovalchuk.   The power play goal came at 17:44 and the Devils had that aforementioned three goal lead.

The second ended with the Devils leading on the scoreboard 3-0, leading in shots 20-13 and out hitting the Lightning 20-13.

Early in the third the Devils gave the Lightning a chance to get back in the contest when the Lightning went on a 5 on 3.  But to no avail.

Finally at 8:24 as Ryan Shannon drove hard down the right board beating Mark Fayne.  Shannon took the puck to the corner and then behind the goal and  fed a nice pass out to Marty St. Louis who,  roofed one past Brodeur.  The scoreboard read  3-1 Devils and all of sudden the shots are 21-20 Lightning.

A real rockin’ roof raiser by Ryan Shannon at 9:54 high glove side on the crossbar and in.  The play was commenced by defenseman Eric Brewer’s long, an on the tape outlet pass into the natural zone to Steve Downie.  Downie cut right into the zone and fed Shannon who was streaking down the right wing. Light on, Devils lead cut to one, 3-2.

 Up to that 9:54 mark in the period the Devils did not registered a shot in the period.   Peter DeBoer calls a Devils time-out.

All the momentum seemed to flowing Tampa’s way until with 2:03 left…that is until Lightning goal-keeper  Dwayne Roloson made an appalling play behind his own goal.  After losing the puck at his feet and Devil pressure bearing down on him, Roloson flipped the puck out in front with his catcher glove, right to Ryan Carter who buried it.

The Lightning pulled Roloson but the 2:03 melted harmlessly off the clock to preserve the Devils 10th win of the season. 

After the game Dwayne Roloson expressed to the media that he lost the game.  What?  His team was down by a goal when his mental error was Mike Smith-like . Coach Guy Boucher was quick to say, “The team lost us the game.”

Marty St. Louis said, “We didn’t get it done.”

The Lightning host the Maple Leafs of Toronto on Tuesday while the Devils go south to Sunrise to take on the Florida Panthers.

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