|Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis celebrate Stamkos’s goal on the Devils’ Yann Danis in a game that took three days to complete. (Bill Kostroun/Associated Press)|
Lightning knock out Devils’ lights
All the Tampa Bay Lightning needed to end a 10-game losing streak against the New Jersey Devils was three days, a lighting problem, a two-hour game delay, a side trip to Philadelphia, and half a game yesterday.
The great goaltending by Mike Smith and the two goals by Steven Stamkos didn’t hurt, either.
Smith made 33 saves and Stamkos scored once Friday and once yesterday as the Lightning finished off the Devils, 4-2, at Newark in the completion of a game that was suspended two nights earlier because a lighting problem created a safety issue for the players.
“It was a little weird,’’ Stamkos said. “We prepared twice for this game. It was a half-game and a half-game. The travel wasn’t bad. We were in Philly, so it was only a bus ride away. It was something a lot of guys haven’t experienced in a while. It felt like we were back in junior, but it was worth it.’’
Tampa Bay led, 3-0, when play was suspended Friday night with 9:12 left in the second period and it only had to kill off the final 29:12 yesterday to beat New Jersey for the first time since the start of the 2007-08 season.
Steve Downie and Brandon Bochenski also scored for Tampa Bay in the game in which the players agreed not to protest playing three days in a row. The Devils played in Montreal and the Lightning were in Philadelphia Saturday night.
Travis Zajac and Zach Parise scored for New Jersey.
It was strange, though, starting with the crowd. About 3,000 of the announced crowd of 15,129 returned to watch the game, with the number including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
“I thought they were alive,’’ Devils coach Jacques Lemaire said of the fans. “I thought they were good.’’
Ducks 3, Blackhawks 1 - Jonas Hiller was spectacular in net, making 42 saves for visiting Anaheim, which won its fourth straight.
Hiller has allowed only six goals during the win streak.
The Blackhawks, atop the NHL with 66 points, have their first two-game losing streak since November.
Hurricanes 4, Senators 1 - Rod Brind’Amour scored the winning goal and Cam Ward made 31 saves for host Carolina.
Tom Kostopoulos, Brett Carson, and Eric Staal also scored to help Carolina win consecutive games for the first time since early December. Chris Kelly scored for Ottawa, and Pascal LeClaire stopped 29 shots. The Senators, opening a five-game trip, have lost four in a row.
Blue Jackets 2, Stars 0 - Mathieu Garon made 26 saves for his second shutout of the season, and Raffi Torres and Antoine Vermette scored as host Columbus won its third in a row after losing 21 of their previous 24 games.