TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning continue their six-game homestand Saturday when they host the New Jersey Devils.
Although New Jersey is coming off a 5-3 loss Friday against the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper doesn't have any doubts about what kind of team he'll be facing.
"New Jersey does such a good job of playing defense and keeping the puck out of the net. It's tough to break through and score against these guys," Cooper said. "I look at the score last night and they gave up five goals and it's like an eye-opener, and then I think, 'Why couldn't they have given up five against us?' That doesn't happen that often and they have world-class goaltending in there and they have a system in place and they know how to play."
Lightning forward Ryan Malone will sit out again Saturday, the fifth consecutive game when he will be scratched. Joining him in the stands will be forward Nikita Kucherov, who is without a goal in his past 14 games, and forward Richard Panik, who is without a point since returning from Syracuse of the American Hockey League on March 4.
Forward Tyler Johnson has four goals in his past five games, giving him 21 for the season. That is two behind the Lightning rookie record set by captain Steven Stamkos in 2008-09.
Johnson, 23, put that situation in an interesting perspective.
"I think Stamkos was 18-years old when he did that feat," Johnson said. "If I'm not mistaken, he got 60 goals when he was 20 or 21 years old. I don't really think about it at all."
The Devils arrived late after their game against the Panthers and took the morning off.
Martin Brodeur is expected to be in goal for New Jersey. He has defeated the Lightning in their two previous matchups this season, allowing one goal, by Stamkos.
Here are the projected lineups for the Devils and Lightning
Jaromir Jagr - Travis Zajac - Tuomo Ruutu
Ryane Clowe - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Dainius Zubrus - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Mark Fayne - Andy Greene
Jon Merrill - Anton Volchenkov
Marek Zidlicky - Bryce Salvador
Scratched: Eric Gelinas, Peter Harrold, Jacob Josefson
Ondrej Palat – Valtteri Filppula – Ryan Callahan
Teddy Purcell – Tyler Johnson – Steven Stamkos
J.T. Brown – Tom Pyatt – Alex Killorn
B.J. Crombeen – Nate Thompson
Eric Brewer – Radko Gudas
Victor Hedman – Sami Salo
Keith Aulie – Matthew Carle
Scratched: Ryan Malone, Nikita Kucherov, Richard Panik, Mark Barberio