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GAME STORY: Lightning 7, Devils 6 OT

In a wild affair, Devils see a 5-3 third-period lead fizzle, hold a furious rally to tie the game but ultimately fall in extra time

by Marc Ciampa / NewJerseyDevils.com

It was a back-and-forth game that saw the lead change hands multiple times. Devils had a two-goal lead in the third period but saw that slip away before rallying as Kyle Palmieri completed a hat trick with seven seconds left to tie it up. 

But in overtime, Tyler Johnson scored 1:16 into the extra frame to send the visitors home with two points. 

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The Devils wrap up their home stand with a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. The game can be seen on MSG+ 2 and heard on the Devils Hockey Network, including right here at NewJerseyDevils.com. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. ET.

"We deserved a better fate than we got tonight. There was a lot of positive performances, our team played well," said Devils head coach John Hynes. "When you come out of a game and don't get the result you want, there are always things you can do better but I think this was a game -- when you look at the process of it -- we deserved better."

Taylor Hall echoed the thoughts of his coach. 

"Sometimes hockey's a cruel game like that. Bad bounces happen to every team and every team has to overcome them. We're starting to really round out our game. Take the goals (against) aside, you're starting to see a more complete hockey team," Hall said. "We feel pretty good about it. The practices have served us well. If you look at our shot clock, we're double the other team the last couple of games."

Kevin Shattenkirk took a delay of game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass to give the Devils an early power play 33 seconds into the game and it didn't take long to convert. Only 37 seconds into the man advantage, quick hands in front by Wayne Simmonds resulted in a backhand in front to Kyle Palmieri, who made no mistake quickly rifling the puck past Lightning starting goaltender Curtis McElhinney to make it a 1-0 game. 

Tampa Bay replied midway through the first as Ondrej Palat blasted a one-timer on a Shattenkirk feed, completing a tic-tac-toe play to tie it. The Bolts then moved in front with 2:45 to go in the first on a goal by Alex Killorn, who spun and fired a shot high under the crossbar to make it 2-1. 

After one period, shots on goal were 11-9 for the Devils. 

Devils continued to get power play chances and while their next goal wasn't with the man advantage, it came just as it expired. Damon Severson's point shot was stopped in front, as was Hischier's rebound. Jesper Bratt then swooped down and put it in past McElhinney to tie the game.

Five minutes later, the Bolts regained the lead as Brayden Point picked up a loose puck in front and put it past Schneider. 

It only took the Devils 29 seconds to respond and tie it up again. Palmieri redirected a shot from Will Butcher for his second of the game and then the goals just kept coming.

Fifty-nine seconds after Palmieri's marker, Bratt wristed a point shot through a screen to make it 4-3 Devils with his second tally of the evening. 

"The Jesper Bratt we saw tonight, that's the guy that we need. It was nice to see those three guys (Hischier, Zacha, Bratt) play the way they did. All three have something to build off, for sure," noted Coach Hynes.

After two, shots were 26-16 for the Devils. 

The third period started much the same way the second period ended, with the goals coming fast and furious. 

Only 1:13 into the third, Sami Vatanen took advantage of some hard work by Wayne Simmonds, picking up the puck at the right circle and walking in, deking out McElhinney and putting the Devils up by two. 

But then the Lightning tied it once again. Eighty-eight seconds after the Vatanen goal, Rutta's blast from the point went off Hischier in front and five minutes later, the Lightning struck again as Joseph scored. 

With less than four minutes to go, Palat scored off the rush as the Lightning took advantage of a broken stick from P.K. Subban. 

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