The New Jersey Devils entered Sunday night’s game having lost three of the team’s last five games while the Tampa Bay Lightning entered having won four of its last five. The Bolts had also scored 11 goals in a pair of wins over Florida and Chicago, and the offensive onslaught continued against the Devils when Alex Killorn got the Lightning on the board with a nifty goal just two minutes after the opening whistle. Brayden Point added a power play goal four minutes later before Tyler Johnson and Cedric Paquette tallied goals of their own in a period that saw the Lightning head to the intermission up 4-1 after a controversial goal where Devils center Brian Boyle appeared to interfere with Bolts goalie Louis Domingue (who also happened to provide this bit of on ice entertainment during a delayed penalty) .
when you hear they did surgery on a grape pic.twitter.com/4CDGN02wnJ— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 26, 2018
It was a miserable night for the Devils, however, as the home crowd watched its team dismantle New Jersey 5-2 at Amalie Arena.
No Lightning player scored in the second period. Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen did though when he went ahead and put one in his own goal during a second period that saw the Bolts go up 5-1. The Devils’ play was depressing at best, but not as sad as watching Lightning captain Steven Stamkos take a cross check from Devils defenseman Andy Greene, slam a shoulder into the ice, drop his stick and head directly to the locker room in the period’s final moments.
Stamkos would return for the third, but the Bolts put the game on cruise control throughout a frame that saw the Lightning get outshot 14-9. Some credit may be due to Devils netminder Schneider who was absolutely abused in the first period (and then scored on by his own team in the second) before stonewalling the Lightning throughout the rest of a game that saw the shot count even out at 35-35. It’ll be interesting to see if the Bolts can continue this trend of high-scoring opening periods next week during the end of this extensive home stand.
The Lightning will face New Jersey one more time on December 3, and the Bolts’ next game is on Tuesday, November 27 at Amalie Arena against the Anaheim Ducks. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.