TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Tampa Bay's Ruslan Fedotenko flicked the puck and hoped for the best.
``I'll be honest, I just threw the puck on the net,'' the right wing said Thursday night after his goal with 2:38 left in overtime gave the Lightning a 1-0 victory over New Jersey and spoiled another stellar performance by Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.
Fedotenko took a pass from Nolan Pratt in the lower right circle and scored only after he was unable to feed Brad Richards in the high slot.
The winner came less than 2 minutes after Brodeur stopped Vincent Lecavalier from point-blank range to keep the Devils in the game.
``I tried to pass and they covered everything, so I just threw the puck on the net,'' Fedotenko repeated. ``I didn't even look where the goalie was.''
John Grahame made 20 saves for his third shutout in his last five starts. The Lightning are 4-0-1 during that stretch, and Grahame has allowed a total of one goal in the four victories.
``You know in a game like this that one mistake could cost you. You don't want to have that mistake on your side,'' Grahame said. ``That's what drives you. No mistakes that will cost you the game. Stay focused.''
The loss was just the second in 12 games for the Devils, who entered as the NHL's hottest team with Brodeur posting four shutouts during a stretch that's propelled the club into postseason contention.
Brodeur, who stopped 32 shots before Fedotenko's winner, was coming off a 4-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. The 33-year-old goalie twisted his left knee during the first period of that game, but remained in net and finished with his 79th career shutout.
``When he got the pass, he kind of looked right away to see if somebody was open. He never looked at me until he shot the puck,'' Brodeur said. ``I felt like I was in good enough position to be able to turn my body just a little bit to react to a pass and he just snuck it right through me.''
The Lightning outshot the Devils 13-3 in the opening period and saw an opportunity to take the lead slip away in the second when Martin St. Louis hit the post from point-blank range on a short-handed breakaway.
New Jersey was 0-for-5 on the power play, failing to convert on three opportunities in the second period and one more in the third, when it appeared a hooking penalty against Pavel Kubina might cost Tampa Bay the game.
Notes: Lightning coach John Tortorella said a new team captain to replace the departed Dave Andreychuk won't be named until next season. ``That's more out of respect to David,'' Tortorella said. Andreychuk was waived Jan. 10. ... Devils RW Grant Marshall (pinched neck nerve) returned after missing one game. New York Rangers defenseman Darius Kasparaitis elbowed Marshall in the head last Sunday. ... Tampa Bay hasn't allowed a power-play goal in its last six games.
|Ruslan Fedotenko (14) ASST: Nolan Pratt (8)|
1 - 0 TBL
|Power Play %||19.3%||18.8%|
|% on Road||21.6%||14.8%|
|% at Home||17.3%||22.9%|
|Cory Sarich Hooking|
|Grant Marshall Holding|
|Ruslan Fedotenko Hooking|
|Brad Richards Hooking|
|Cory Sarich Hooking|
|Pavel Kubina Hooking|
|Colin White Hi-sticking|