Stamkos scores twice, Lightning beat Devils 4-3 in shootout
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist in regulation, and Alex Killorn and Ross Colton each scored in the shootout to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves for Tampa Bay, which won its second in a row over New Jersey after a victory Tuesday night.
“I saw Ross go low blocker, so I figured I’d try the same,” Killorn said of his shootout winner.
Timo Meier had two goals in the third period and Tomas Tatar also scored for New Jersey. Akira Schmid made 21 saves in his 12th start this season.
“I thought he gave us a strong game,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said of his backup netminder.
Colton, a New Jersey native playing in his home state, scored his 16th goal of the year 1:09 into the game to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead.
The Devils broke through midway through the second period when Nico Hischier found Tatar with a cross-ice pass, and Tatar scored his 16th goal to it at 1.
Shortly after fending off a two-man advantage during a power play, Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead 18:11 into the second period when Stamkos scored his 28th goal.
“It’s definitely tough not capitalizing on the 5-on-3 and then it goes back in your throat and they score, it definitely hurts, but that’s why it’s even better that we stuck with it,” Meier said. “We didn’t put our heads down. We kept going and we gave ourselves a chance.”
Meier scored his 33rd goal of the season on the rebound to tie it again midway through the third period.
Stamkos answered with another go-ahead goal 15:13 into the third. Stamkos returned after missing the previous game with a leg injury.
“That was probably good for him that he sat one out, just good for his body, good for his mind, and some big plays he made out there tonight for us, but that’s what you need,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s a hard league to score in, let alone win in, and he’s been scoring in this league for a long time and we needed those goals tonight.”
But the Devils would tie it yet again when New Jersey took advantage of a power play and pulled the goaltender, and Meier scored off the faceoff in Tampa Bay’s zone 17:44 into the third and forced overtime.
“He’s just trying to fit in. Sometimes it takes 10 or 15 games to figure out who you can play with, and what fits,” Ruff said of Meier, recently acquired in a blockbuster trade with San Jose. “We know he’s a great shooter. Got to get the puck on his stick. ... We’ve got to get him in position to shoot. That’s his strength.”
Lightning: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Devils: At the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
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