Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Beat Tampa Bay with Lack Guarding Net

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Beat Tampa Bay with Lack Guarding Net

Article excerpt

TAMPA, Fla. – Each win is worth two points. But there are some victories that mean a little more.

Earning a road win against the top team in the Eastern Conference qualifies, especially with backup goalie Eddie Lack outplaying likely Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The Devils beat the Lightning, 4-3, on Saturday night at Amalie Arena with another solid team effort, often outskating the hosts to loose pucks and having the physical edge in the game. Plus, they survived a frantic final two minutes with the Lightning skating six on five.

The Devils (30-20-8) have now won three straight heading into Sunday night's game at Carolina. They remain in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division and in the first wild-card spot as the Devils seek their first playoff berth since 2012. They matched the third-place Flyers' 68 points while moving four points ahead of the fifth-place Islanders.

The Lightning (39-17-3), now 20-6-1 at home, went 2 for 6 on the power play but also gave up a shorthanded goal. And the Devils came up with a clutch penalty kill on the Lightning's last man advantage after Taylor Hall tripped Alex Killorn at 11:56.

Vasilevskiy stopped 24 saves but Lack made a career-high 48 saves, including 13 power-play tries, as the Lightning set a season high for most shots taken.

Lack had stopped 22 shots in a 5-3 loss to the visiting Bruins this past Sunday in his first start for the Devils since being acquired from the Flames on Dec. 30 for defenseman Dalton Prout.

Miles Wood put the Devils ahead 4-2 at 1:24 of the third period as the Lightning were simply outworked around Vasilevskiy's crease.

But Steven Stamkos drew a tripping penalty on Kyle Palmieri at 5:03 and converted on a power-play one-timer 12 seconds later to bring the Lightning within 4-3.

The Devils, building off their recent strong play, showed good resiliency in the second period after Brayden Point put the Lightning ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal at 2:47. …

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