The game started out really slow. In the first period, there was a lot of back and forth, but no real offensive effort from either side. After the first twenty minutes of play the Shots on Goal were a mere 7-6 in favor of the Devils.
It wasn’t until 15:37 in the second period that the scoring would open up. Unfortunately for the Bolts, it would be the Devils who would do it.
The second period would end with no further movement from either side.
Unfortunately for the Lightning, the third period was all about the New Jersey Devils.
The Wings would score 2 more times during their third, both of which would be at the hands of right wing Dainius Zubrus. Right wing Jaromir Jagr would get an assist on both goals. The second goal was also assisted by defenseman Marek Zidlicky.
In an attempt to get the Lightning on the board, Head Coach Jon Cooper pulled goaltender Anders Lindback with over 4 minutes left in the game. This gave the Bolts and extra skater fo r the remaining minutes of the game. Unfortunately, the Bolts were unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
On the bright side, the Devils were unable to score on the empty net.
The Lightning went zero for three on the Power Play tonight. On the other side of the ice, the Devils found themselves unable to capitalize on the two Power Play opportunities that were bestowed upon them as well.
As I mentioned before, Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur put on a stellar performance, blocking all 33 shots that the Lightning brought against him. On the other side of the ice, Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback blocked 16 of the 19 shots the Devils brought against him, giving him a Save Percentage of .842.
While I will concede that this game is not entirely in the hands of Lindback, there is no denying that he has a habit of allowing goals that should have been easily stopped by someone of his skill.
Tonight, the Lightning defense did not play the same game that they did when they played against the Red Wings. While a number of injuries have been plaguing the Lightning blue line; however, we have a good crop of young players that have more than enough skill to get the job done.
If they hope to contend against the Red Wings on Sunday, they are going to have to revert back to the way that they played against the Wings on Thursday.
Jon Cooper spoke to the media post game tonight, and he talked a little bit about what he thinks happened in tonight’s game.
We played well. We made some colossal errors that cost us.” Cooper said. “That first one is a bad change. That can’t happen.” He says. “We just broke down on plays that we normally don’t.”
He also went on to say that he believed that this was not one of “those games” where they took it to us. He feels that the Devils were able to capitalize on the opportunities that the Lightning brought to them.
The Lightning offense has done what the fans have asked of them. They have started taking shots on net. Tonight, they were unable to convert, but it was not for a lack of trying. The next step in the natural evolution of things would be for them to work on capitalizing on those opportunities and finding ways to make the play happen.
Three Stars of the Game:
Next up for the Lightning, they head into the Joe Louis Arena to go head-to-head with the Detroit Red Wings. The puck drops at 5:00 p.m. EST.
What do you think the Lightning need to do to get back on track? Let us know what you think in the comments below.