The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from the second round of the NHL's playoffs after knocking off the Devils 3-1 on Wednesday night.
The game had an ominous start of the Lightning, who wound up trying to kill off a 5-on-3 penalty for the second consecutive game. They were unable to do so as Kyle Palmeiri scored to give New Jersey a 1-0 advantage. The Lightning had an answer waiting, however - JT Miller scored at the 11:30 mark of the first period to tie the game. After a Cory Conacher shot was ruled to not be a goal on review, the Lightning got the game winning goal at the 15:02 mark when Nikita Kucherov scored to make it 2-1 Tampa Bay. Kucherov added an empty net goal late in the third period and the Lightning would secure the 3-1 win.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was outstanding once again in net for the Lightning, making three spectacular saves on three different breakaway attempts by the Devils. All told he made 27 saves on 28 shots against, while Cory Schneider went 34-for-36 in net for the Devils.
The series now returns to Amalie Arena where the Lightning can close out the Devils at home on Saturday afternoon. The puck will drop at 3 PM in downtown Tampa - pregame coverage begins at 2 PM on News Radio 970 WFLA.
1. NJD - PPG - Palmieri - (Butcher, Hall) - 8:23
2. TBL - Miller - (Kuchcerov, Stamkos) - 11:30
3. TBL - Kucherov - (Coburn, Miller) - 15:02
1. TBL - Kucherov - (Miller) - 18:52
1. NJD - Hall - (Hooking) - 0:34
2. TBL - Killorn - (Hooking) - 7:47
3. TBL - Paquette - (Tripping) - 8:12
4. TBL - Killorn - (Boarding) - 16:49
5. NJD - Wood - (Roughing) - 19:17
6. NJD - Coleman - (Roughing) - 19:17
7. TBL - Stralman - (Roughing) - 19:17
1. NJD - Hall - (Tripping) - 9:42
2. TBL - Kucherov - (Holding) - 11:28
3. TBL - Point - (Interference) - 14:28
4. NJD - Noesen - (High Sticking) - 18:38
1. TBL - Miller - (Slashing) - 7:18
2. NJD - Greene - (Tripping) - 12:52
SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay - 37