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Devils end Lightning's home streak with 4-2 win

by Lonnie Herman
TAMPA -- He didn't extend his NHL record for shutouts, but Martin Brodeur was more than happy to leave the St. Pete Times Forum with his League-record 629th regular-season win.

Brodeur kept Tampa Bay scoreless for more than 51 minutes and finished with 21 saves as the New Jersey Devils beat Tampa Bay 4-2 on Saturday night, ending the Lightning's six-game winning streak at home.

For Brodeur, who beat the Lightning for the 35th time in his career, it was business as usual.

"It's all about winning games," Brodeur said. "I thought we played an extremely disciplined game. Tough to play a system the way they don't come at you. They just sit back like that, you know? You kind of have a better idea of what Philly went through. When you see it, it's a lot different, but we stayed with it."

New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer was pleased with the way his team played -- but reserved special praise for his goaltender.

"It was another good game from Marty," DeBoer said. "He's a calming presence back there for us and he relieves a lot of pressure with his puck playing ability."

David Clarkson set up a power-play goal by Patrik Elias and then scored one of his own during New Jersey's three-goal second period, which opened with a goal by Dainius Zubrus. Martin St. Louis and Ryan Shannon scored 90 seconds apart midway through the third period to get the Lightning within a goal, but Ryan Carter gave the Devils some insurance with 2:03 left when he pounced on a puck that goaltender Dwayne Roloson misplayed behind his own goal and flipped it into a wide-open net.

"Roloson tried to play it," Carter said. "I'm not sure if he had it on his stick but it was in his feet and that surprised him. I'll take an open net ninety percent of the time."

Said Roloson, who finished with 20 saves: "It was an error on my part, and it cost us the game."

The Lightning managed only 13 shots on goal through two periods but came out strong in the final period, collecting the first eight shots while scoring twice. St. Louis got Tampa Bay on the board when he chipped the puck over Brodeur from the left side of the net for his fifth goal of the season. Shannon pulled the Lightning within 3-2 when he wristed a hard shot from the slot past Brodeur for his first as a member of the Lightning.

Tampa Bay was in penalty trouble for much of the game -- the Lightning were shorthanded eight time for a total of 9:23 and allowed two power-play goals. Lightning coach Guy Boucher was disappointed in the number of penalties his team took -- and the way they took them.

"We took dumb, soft and lazy penalties," Boucher said, "and this is the result that we get: a loss."

Boucher also was critical of his team's effort.

"We had some players show up tonight: Shannon, St. Louis, (Steve) Downie and (Brett) Connolly. This game takes a full team effort and tonight we just didn't have enough."

The Lightning got six power-play opportunities, including 81 seconds with a 5-on-3 advantage, but did not convert.

"They made a really good push at the end," Zach Parise said. "We had to regroup a bit off those two goals but it was a relief to get that goal by Carter at the end to give us some breathing room."

The Devils take a two-game winning streak to Sunrise, Fla., and a Monday night date with the Florida Panthers -- one that former Panthers coach DeBoer is looking forward to.

"For a lot of reasons, I'd like to win that one," DeBoer said "Obviously, the big picture is we want to finish this road trip out the right way, and we want to keep feeling good and playing the way we are.

"It will be interesting. I haven't been back to a place I've been fired before, so it will be a first-time experience for me."

Lightning forward Tom Pyatt left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return.
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