GAME DAY: Lightning at Devils 3/2/11

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Lightning (37-18-7) at Devils (27-31-4) at 7:00 p.m.

Tampa Bay takes on New Jersey in what will be the first game for the Devils without Jason Arnott.  The Bolts just snapped the Devil’s season-high 8 game winning streak with a 2-1 victory on Friday.

The Devils are still barely in the playoff picture, currently sitting 13th in the East.  They have won 17 of their last 21 games to even get them this remote chance of extending their post-season run to 14 years.

New Jersey is hoping to get a push from the return of Martin Brodeur, who made 25 saves in a start on Sunday.  It may very well be a battle of old guys between the pipes with Brodeur and Roloson both possibilities.

Not much has changed for either team since the last time the two met.  Former Cap David Steckel will be making his Devil debut tomorrow night.  He was sent to New Jersey along with a draft pick for Arnott.  Steckel is a relatively low-impact player, but he does shine on the faceoff dot and racks up PK minutes.

The Lightning carry a 3 game winning streak into Newark, while New Jersey looks to get back-to-back wins, trying to string together another run.

Both Lecavalier and St. Louis have been hot the last nine games.  Lecavalier has seven goals (including 6 PPG) and 12 points during that span, while St. Louis has four goals and nine assists in his nine-game point streak.

This game is the second in a 3-game road trip for the Lightning, who just ended a record-tying 12 game homestand. They went 7-2-3 during that time, and remain atop the Southeast Division.

It’s that time of year when teams are getting desperate.  Teams like New Jersey need every point to keep their playoff hopes alive.  Some say it’s easier to rise to the top than to stay at the top, and the Lightning will be tested greatly in that regard down the home stretch, starting tomorrow night.

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Tags: New Jersey Devils

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