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Stafford strikes twice in NJD shootout win over TBL

10 Takeaways: Devils defeat the Lightning 5-4 in a SO

by Amanda Stein @AmandaCStein /

The New Jersey Devils hosted the NHL's best team in the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night at Prudential Center. New Jersey beat Tampa Bay 5-4 as Kyle Palmieri scored in the shootout to take the extra point against the Lightning. It was the Devils' second win in a row. 

Here are 10 takeaways from the evening.

1. Drew Stafford opened scoring for the Devils just 3:45 into the game. The goal was his second of the season, as well as his second point. Stafford has played just three games this year, after missing time with a lower body injury. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: Drew Grit. #TBLvsNJD

2. Rookies Will Butcher and Nico Hischier both had assists on Stafford's goal. It was the ninth point and assist of the year for Butcher. He leads all NHL rookies in points, assists and plus/minus and is also is the Devils' point leader. 

3. Hischier was in the starting lineup along with Taylor Hall, Stafford, Andy Greene and Damon Severson. It was the first starting lineup appearance in Hischier's career. He finished the night with two assists for his third and fourth NHL points. 

4. Pavel Zacha nearly had the 2-2 equalizer late in the first period when he rang a wrist shot off the post. It was the second ding off the post of the period. Kyle Palmieri also had a shot go off the post early in the first. Lots of work for the iron Tuesday night.

5. Palmieri would get his back with 3:41to play in the first, though. His shot from the right circle flew by Tampa's Peter Budaj and into the net for the 2-2 goal. Palmieri took the shot off a pass from Hall. He now has five points in five games this season. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: Palms picks his spot with a @PSEGdelivers PPG! #TBLvsNJD

6. Brian Gibbons would make it a 3-2 game with just 51.5 seconds left in the first period. His third goal of the season was assisted by Steven Santini, and was Gibbons' fifth point in five games.

Tweet from @NJDevils: Bri Guy does it again. Santini and Wood pick up the helpers! #TBLvsNJD

7. On three separate occasions, Hischier nearly scored his first goal. Early in the second he was stopped by Budaj's right pad on a perfect feed from Marcus Johansson, and with two minutes remaining in the second, Budaj robbed Hischier again. The rookie put the puck high and Budaj poked it away mid-air. In the third period, Hischier was left all alone in front of Budaj but his shot went right into Budaj's crest. Clearly frustrated by all the near-goals, Hischier slammed his stick into the ice. 

8. Stafford scored his second goal of the night with just 4:06 left in the game. Stafford knocked in his own rebound. The puck went in the net with just four seconds remaining on the power play. 

9. Cory Schneider made saves on all three shootout goals he faced in the victory after stopping 33 of the 37 he faced. His career record against the Lightning is 4-4-1.

10. The Devils get ready to head out on the road on Thursday night. They will be in Ottawa to face the Senators, and return home to play the San Jose Sharks on Friday night. Tickets are still available.

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