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New Jersey
Devils
46-29-7
Tampa Bay
Lightning
31-42-9

27 SOG
24 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
NJD
TBL
game recap

Lightning 3, Devils 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Associated Press

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Lightning 3, Devils 1
New Jersey Devils 1, Tampa Bay Lightning 3

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Brent Sutter's debut and the start of the New Jersey Devils' road show ended on a sour note.

Vincent Lecavalier scored twice, including a tiebreaking goal with 3:52 left in the third, spoiling Sutter's first game as Devils coach and leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-1 win on Thursday night.

"We played pretty well the last 17 minutes of the first and played a really good second period," Sutter said. "We had lots of chances. I thought we stood around too much in the third. We weren't assertive enough."

New Jersey is opening the season with a nine-game road trip, which will allow construction of the Devils new arena in Newark to be completed for the home opener Oct. 27 against Ottawa.

Vinny Prospal set up Lecavalier's second goal to make it 2-1 from the right circle with a backhand pass through the slot.

"He's the best player in the league," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said of Lecavalier. "He got a couple of quality chances and beared down on it."

Prospal added an empty-net goal with 58 seconds left.

"I felt he was going to be there," Prospal said of Lecavalier's second goal. "The good players find a way to get open, and he got open."

Lightning goalie Johan Holmqvist stopped 26 shots. Martin St. Louis had three assists.

"The game breakers took over," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "Homer gave us a chance when we were fighting it."

Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier (4) celebrates with teammates Paul Ranger, Martin St. Louis (center), and Vaclav Prospal after scoring a third-period goal against the New Jersey Devils.

Brian Gionta scored for the Devils and Brodeur made 21 saves.

"It was a tough loss for us," New Jersey center Sergei Brylin said. "Nobody wants to start the year with a loss, but I guess we have to look at the positive things that we did. Just little mistakes here and there cost us a game."

Gionta redirected Zach Parise's backhand from the slot during a power play to put the Devils up 1-0 at 9:06 of the first. It was Gionta's 200th career point.

Lecavalier tied it at 1-all with 10:25 left in the second.

"We had the matchups we wanted against him," Sutter said. "It had nothing to do with who we had out on the ice against him. We just weren't intelligent. When you have your top-end guys out on the ice, they've got to do the job."

Brodeur preserved the 1-1 tie with a glove save on Michel Ouellet's in-close deflection with 10:10 remaining in the third. Holmqvist turned aside a good scoring chance by Travis Zajac with 5:35 to go in regulation.

"I felt we got better as a team as the game went on," St. Louis said. "We were a little nervous in the beginning."

Notes:Tampa Bay was without D Dan Boyle (wrist surgery), C Ryan Craig (herniated disc), C Tim Taylor (hip surgery) and C Andreas Karlsson (abdominal strain). Karlsson is expected back next week, but Boyle (three to five weeks), Taylor (several months at least) and Craig (indefinitely) could all be out an extended period. ... Injured Devils sitting out were D Colin White (eye), RW Jamie Langenbrunner (groin) and RW Cam Janssen (shoulder).

scoring summary
1st Period
09:06
NJD
PPG - Brian Gionta (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Zach Parise (1), Travis Zajac (1)
1 - 0 NJD
2nd Period
09:35
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Martin St. Louis (1), Filip Kuba (1)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
16:08
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Vinny Prospal (1), Martin St. Louis (2)
2 - 1 TBL
19:02
TBL
EN - Vinny Prospal (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Martin St. Louis (3), Paul Ranger (1)
3 - 1 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
01:35
NJD
Paul Martin  Hooking against  Vinny Prospal
05:55
TBL
Chris Gratton  Roughing against  David Clarkson
08:19
TBL
Paul Ranger  Interference against  Rod Pelley
19:11
TBL
Chris Gratton  Interference against  Patrik Elias
2nd Period
13:08
TBL
Vinny Prospal  Hi-sticking against  Dainius Zubrus
18:24
NJD
Jay Pandolfo  Slashing against  Michel Ouellet
3rd Period
04:50
TBL
Vinny Prospal  Holding against  Zach Parise
19:33
TBL
Chris Gratton  Fighting (maj) against  David Clarkson
19:33
NJD
David Clarkson  Hooking against  Chris Gratton
19:33
NJD
David Clarkson  Roughing against  Chris Gratton
19:33
NJD
David Clarkson  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Gratton
goalie stats
Martin Brodeur
SA: 23TOI: 59:39
Saves: 21EV: 16 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .913SH: 1 - 1
Johan Holmqvist
SA: 27TOI: 59:38
Saves: 26EV: 19 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 8
SV%: .963SH: 0 - 0