NHL Playoff Game Night 4/16: Devils at Lightning

The Lightning take a 2-1 series lead as the Devils still have no answer for Tampa's big guns.

NJ-2
TB-3

Johan Holmqvist stopped 30 of 32 shots faced for the win. Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards each had 1 goal and 1 assist and Martin St. Louis had a pair of helpers but it was Vaclav Prospal's third period goal that finally snuffed out the Devils' hopes of stealing a Game Three road win. Filip Kuba also added an assist.

The Devils got a ridiculously lucky goal on a 2-on-1 centering feed from Zach Parise that bounced off a sliding Dan Boyle and in. Otherwise, this is a 3-1 win. Just like Game One should have been a 3-1 win. Almost like Game Two was a 3-1 win. The Lightning are having little trouble getting to three goals even against the much honored Martin Brodeur and it seems the only way the Devils can get to 3 goals themselves is if Holmer implodes. So long as Holmqvist continues to provide good goaltending, the Lightning should have the upper hand in this series.

Now the Lightning have put New Jersey in a situation where they've got to win 3 of the next 4 games to win the series. That's good, not great. Stepping on Jersey's throat by taking Game Four and getting this to a 3-1 series lead? That would be great.

Game sheet from NHL.com.

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Excellent win. Much more

Excellent win. Much more hockey yet to go, but the Holmqvist of Game One is becoming more and more of a distant memory.

I'm extremely pleased with the early physical presence and the much improved penalty kill tonight. Parise's fluky bizarro "goal" was frustrating (and judging from Brodeur's postgame quotes about what he deems are fluky Lightning goals, he's clearly getting flustered) but sure enough the Bolts kept plugging away like true champs.

Lecavalier and St. Louis are just toying with these guys at times. Can't wait til Wednesday.

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