Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lightning drop home opener in shoot out

The Tampa Bay Lightning let a one-goal lead slip away, then were outscored in a deciding shoot out 2-0, losing their home opener to the New Jersey Devils 4-3 Thursday night, in front of 17,454 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

The Devils took the lead on a Zach Parise wrist shot 4:46 into the contest. That lead would last until the midway point of the game, when Steven Stamkos lit the lamp for Tampa Bay at 9:49 of the second. A Jay Pandolpho goal at 18:49 put New Jersey back on top after two at 2-1.

The Lightning would grab the lead in the third. Stamkos snapped home a power play goal at 1:52, then Todd Fodoruk scored at 5:41, putting Tampa Bay up 3-2. The lead would last until the final moments of regulation. With their net empty, the Devils buzzed around the Lightning zone, finally scoring on a goal mouth scramble. Travis Zajac tucked the puck inside the right post with less than a second to go, tying the game 3-3.

New Jersey, after a scoreless overtime, grabbed the extra standings point by winning the shoot out. Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner scored for the Devils, while Steven Stamkos and Alex Tanguay of Tampa Bay were denied.

The Lightning had a 44-34 edge in shots on goal Thursday night, including a team-record 25 in the second period. Martin Brodeur made 41 saves for New Jersey, Mike Smith 31 for the Lightning. Tampa Bay was 1-for-4 on the power play, the Devils were 1-for-2.

The Lightning, now 0-1-2 on the season, host the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, in a rematch of the 'Canes 2-1 shoot out win. Face off at the St. Pete Times Forum is set for 7:30p.m. EDT. 620 WDAE has the radio broadcast, Sun Sports the telecast.

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