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With the exception of a seven-minute span at the end of the second period, the Lightning did not play well in this game. The Lightning, when firing on all cylinders, play with speed. That didn’t happen for most of the night.

The Bolts did not skate with speed, think with speed or execute plays with speed. As a result, the Devils were able to control pucks in the Lightning zone, intercept pucks in the neutral zone and break out of their own end without much difficulty. This lack of speed also contributed to the Lightning’s low shot total – the Bolts generated only 17 shots on goal for the entire game – and eight of those occurred during the aforementioned surge during the second half of the middle period.

During that stretch, the Lightning did play with speed – and the Devils couldn’t handle it. For most of the final minutes of the second period, the Lightning had the puck in the New Jersey zone. Not only did Steven Stamkos score Tampa Bay’s goal during that time, the Lightning forced Devils’ goalie Marty Brodeur to make several tough saves. Brodeur denied Teddy Purcell at the side of the net and stopped a Matt Carle point-blank shot from the slot.

Unfortunately, the Lightning’s late second period surge didn’t carry over into the third (nor was it evident earlier in the game). The Lightning managed only four shots in both the first and third periods, although two of those third period attempts were good scoring chances for Valtteri Filppula and Alex Killorn.

Overall, Tampa Bay was sluggish in this contest – and sluggishness leads to mental and physical mistakes. Two of those mistakes – turnovers in the offensive zone – resulted in New Jersey odd-man rush goals.

Tampa Bay will have a couple of days in Raleigh to get ready for Friday’s game against the Hurricanes. They’ll aim for a better performance then.

Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game (as selected by Bobby “The Chief” Taylor): Jaromir Jagr’s second period breakaway goal, which turned out to be the game-winner.

Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Bobby “The Chief” Taylor):

  1. Jaromir Jagr – Devils. GWG.
  2. Adam Henrique - Devils. Shorthanded goal. Won 58% of faceoffs.
  3. Marty Brodeur - Devils. 16 saves, including several key stops to preserve the Devils’ 2-1 lead.

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