Devils Visit the Bay: Previewing the Lightning vs Devils Matchup

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

After a hard-fought shootout victory against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Tampa Bay Lightning return to Tampa to face-off against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils lost 4-1 against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, and now sit in sixth in the Metropolitan Division. Today’s game is the first of a back to back before the Lightning face Minnesota tomorrow.

The Lightning played a great game against the Philadelphia Flyers, bringing their record up to 9-3-3 on the season. The New Jersey Devils sit on a surprising 7-5-3 record, which is worse than what some fans around the league thought the Devils would do after such a strong offseason, acquiring Ryan Graves, Jonathan Bernier, and more.

Top Players

Starting with the Lightning, the top players being shown here are not based on points, but on recent individual and team efforts. Some will be names seen before, some will be new ones, as things change every game.

Mathieu Joseph: With his name up here for the second time in the row, Mathieu Joseph continues to be one of the most underrated players in the league. With great two-way play, key depth performances, and goals in back to back games, Joseph has played like a star lately.

Steven Stamkos: Stamkos is looking to be a Hart trophy contender this season with the way he’s played. If healthy, he will be known as a top player this season, and will prove to the fans that he still has plenty left in the tank.

Andrei Vasilevskiy: He is still the best goalie in the world, no matter what it says on paper. Watching him play is fascinating, and he is one of the main reasons the Lightning won two Stanley Cups in a row in 2020 and 2021.

The offense on this team has been amazing, putting up points and goals with a +4 goal differential so far this season. The loss of Nikita Kucherov has hurt the Lightning’s offense, but many players are stepping up and keeping the Lightning attack scary.

The defense has improved a lot over the last few weeks. With some adjusting and getting Zach Bogosian back, the Lightning defense has been amazing at stopping pucks from reaching Vasilevskiy, and many goals are caused by defenseman saving the play and passing it to the goal scorer.

Now the Devils, who added a lot of new faces to their roster this year. This will be based on points, not individual or team effort like done with the Lightning.

Pavel Zacha: 7G 4A 11P
Andreas Johnsson: 6G 5A 11P
Dawson Mercer: 5G 6A 11P

The Devils offense is underrated, and is extremely tough to beat with Jack Hughes in the game. Jack Hughes, however, is currently injured and recovering. The signings the Devils made this year is one of their best years for doing it.

The defense has been good. Dougie Hamilton is really stepping up his game in New Jersey, and Ryan Graves has been looking pretty good too. Ty Smith, an already top 4 defenseman, has also been a life saver for the Devils.

Brian Elliott (3.08 GAA, .880 % save) is most likely going to start on Saturday evening against the Devils. Mackenzie Blackwood (3.04 GAA, .923% save) is expected to start for the Devils.


Score: 5-2 Lightning
Shots: 42 Lightning/31 Devils

Top Performer: Boris Katchouk (2G 0A 2P)
Overall Performance: A+


The Lightning just are better in all aspects of the game. The outcome depends on whether or not Brian Elliott takes charge of things, but no matter what, the Lightning offense is too good to be slowed down, and their defense has been solid of late.

Next. Alex Barre-Boulet Reassigned to AHL Syracuse. dark