Devils take over, beat Lightning 5-2

by Gary Shelton on March 20, 2023

in general

Kucherov reached 100 points on the season./TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

For nine seconds, things were going swimmingly for the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday night.

For nine seconds, just that fast, the Bolts were the masters of the universe. They had won three straight, and they were at home, and they were beating the New Jersey Devils once again with a 2-0 lead.

And then they fell.


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Killorn scored his 22nd./TIM WIRT

The Devils, for the first time this season, showed the Lightning that they're a pretty good team, too. They scored five straight goals to hand the Lightning the loss.

The second period was a nightmare for the Bolts, who had trouble managing the puck and had defensive lapses.

"Jersey didn’t reinvent the wheel," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We just smashed the wheel ourselves."

Jesper Bratt had a hat trick for the Devils, one night after Brandon Hagel had one for the Bolts. But the Bolts had just six shots in the second period and eight in the third.

The Bolts looked as if they were in good shape after Nikita Kucherov scored his 28th goal, giving him 100 points for the season. When Alex Killorn scored his 22nd with 6:30 gone in the second period, the Bolts seemed to be on their way.

But the Devils took over the game. They scored three goals in a five-and-a-half minute span. The Lightning gave up two in the third period.

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had 34 saves, but he let in four goals.

"It's 2-0," Cooper said. "It's inexecusable to give up a goal on a face-off right away. That should never happen. That just triggered their momentum and they just rolled. We had turnovers and problems managing the puck. We couldn’t get through the neutral zone."

“This is disappointing. I hate the way the game played out. We were our own worst enemy.’’0-‘

The Bolts are in Montreal on Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. game.

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