|Travis Zajac and the Devils fired 20 shots on Mike Smith in 30:48 of play. |
Jacques Lemaire still had the piece of paper on which he had written out his lines for Friday's game when he took the podium.
The Devils' matchup with Tampa Bay had just been postponed after a circuit breaker problem left one end of Prudential Center in the dark. Lemaire's Devils were trailing 3-0 with 9:12 to go in the second period when the outage occurred.
"Never," Lemaire said when asked if he had ever seen anything like it before. "We all looked at the ice the way it is right now with the lighting that we had. To me, and to all of us, it would be dangerous to keep playing with the lighting that we have right now."
A League statement on NHL.com said the game will be resumed from the point at which play was suspended. A date has not yet been announced.
"Score-wise, it wasn't a good start," Lemaire said. "But I thought it was a good start the way we played. We didn't allow a lot of chances, a lot of shots, and we had quite a few. We came close numerous times to getting a goal to get back in the game. This is exactly what we needed – to get a goal – so we could get started and play with a little bit of confidence."
Once the lights went out, Lemaire felt there was a time limit on how long the two clubs could wait to see if the game could be resumed.
"They're playing tomorrow (in Philadelphia), which is an important game for them; we're playing tomorrow (in Montreal), which is another important game," he said. "Myself, I didn't want this game to go on to midnight and then get to Montreal at 3 (a.m.) and then play tomorrow."
The Devils trailed 1-0 after the first period despite two power plays and a 14-4 shots advantage in the frame.
Jamie Langenbrunner nearly gave New Jersey the first lead, but was stopped from the slot by Mike Smith on a two-on-one with Zach Parise
Steve Downie drew first blood on the power play for Tampa Bay, redirecting Kurtis Foster's shot underneath Martin Brodeur
's catching glove for his eighth at 6:58.
The Lightning tacked on two more goals in the second period for a 3-0 lead. When play was stopped, the Devils were outshooting Tampa Bay, 20-7.
Brandon Bochenski tallied his first of the season with Bryce Salvador
in the box for his second minor of the period. Steven Stamkos misfired on a cross-ice feed, which Rob Niedermayer intercepted in the slot but couldn't control. Bochenski swatted the loose puck past Brodeur from between the circles at 5:13.
Stamkos added his team-leading 22nd to give Tampa Bay a three-goal cushion. Martin St. Louis poked the puck away from Mike Mottau as he tried to exit the New Jersey zone, leaving St. Louis and Stamkos all alone at the hash marks. St. Louis passed across for Stamkos' redirect past Brodeur's glove at 10:04.