NEWARK, N.J. - The goals finally came for Jay Pandolfo and the New Jersey Devils, giving hockey fans in Newark a reason to cheer.
Pandolfo scored three goals for the first time to lead New Jersey to a 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night, giving the Devils their first victory at the Prudential Center.
After scoring only four goals during a four-game losing streak, the Devils relieved the mounting pressure with a breakout performance.
"It's nice to get confidence," Pandolfo said. "We've obviously struggled this year. If we can keep doing that, and gain some confidence by scoring goals at home, it will be fun."
John Madden scored a goal and assisted on all of Pandolfo's goals.
"It brings you back to the days when you were a little kid scoring lots of goals," Madden said. "It's a good feeling, knowing immediately that you helped your hockey club. It makes everybody feel better about their game and you're not squeezing your stick as tight."
Aaron Asham and Zach Parise also scored for the Devils and Martin Brodeur, playing in his 900th game, made 21 saves as New Jersey halted a four-game losing streak.
Vincent Lecavalier scored for the Lightning, who have dropped all five road games.
"It's really frustrating," Lightning forward Martin St. Louis said. "It deflates you. We're saying the same things over and over. We've got to be sharper. We're trying to find a way to win a game on the road."
Madden and Pandolfo scored in a span of 1:48 in the second period to give the Devils a 2-0 lead. Madden opened the scoring at 4:32, converting a centring feed from Dainius Zubrus.
Pandolfo and Madden outhustled the Lightning defence to create a two-on-none break with Madden sliding the puck past the helpless Johan Holmqvist.
Lecavalier broke through for the Lightning with 1:47 remaining in the period with a power-play blast from the top of the right circle.
In the third, Asham deflected home Patrik Elias' shot from the right boards at 7:14, Pandolfo got his second goal 11 minutes in and Parise added a power-play goal with 6:36 remaining. Pandolfo closed out the scoring with 1:20 left.
The Devils outshot the Lightning 7-5 in a tentatively-played scoreless first period. Parise had a pair of solid scoring chances for New Jersey, including a goalmouth poke that required a video review.
Brad Richards had Tampa Bay's best shot, a drive from the slot about five minutes into the game.
After ripping his team following a 3-1 loss to the Rangers in New York on Monday, Lightning coach John Tortorella was much calmer after the latest road loss.
"While we're trying to generate offence, we're forgetting about defence," he said. "It's got to be the other way around. We've got to just play a good, solid defensive game and then, I think our offence will come back to us."
Notes: The Devils recalled D Olli Malmivaara on Wednesday from their AHL affiliate in Lowell. He was in the lineup as New Jersey dressed seven defencemen ... For New Jersey, D Colin White (eye), RW Jamie Langenbrunner (groin) and LW Cam Janssen (shoulder) remain sidelined with long-term injuries. ... Devils D Karel Rachunek was scratched after missing two days of practice because of a groin strain. ... There were a pair of first-period fights: the Lightning's Nick Tarnasky took on Sheldon Brookbank before the Devils' David Clarkson battled Shane O'Brien. Clarkson also had a third-period scrap with Chris Gratton. ... After drawing 17,625 for their debut in the Prudential Center on Saturday, the crowd for Game 2 was 13,218.