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National Hockey League

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 14th (All times Eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (18-10-3) at New Jersey Devils (12-15-6), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils will try to get off to a better start on Saturday night and avoid a third straight defeat as they take on the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Devils were defeated on Friday night 3-2 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, giving up all three goals in the first period. The Pens scored 41 seconds into the game and took their 3-0 lead with 5:20 left in the frame.

Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus scored less than a minute apart in the second period for the Devils, but they could not complete the comeback and lost for the fifth time in six games. Cory Schneider made 20 saves, while Elias has two goals and four assists over a five-game point streak.

"We have to be ready to go at the start of the game and the first period killed us," Devils head coach Peter DeBoer said. "It's great we had more shots and came back, but we have to get points. That's the bottom line."

The Devils failed to score in the first period when they last faced the Lightning on Oct. 29 in New Jersey despite 10 shots on net. However, Adam Henrique scored shorthanded 1:36 into the second period and Jaromir Jagr added a goal in the 2-1 win.

Martin Brodeur needed to make only 16 saves as the Devils bested the Lightning for the eighth time in the previous 12 meetings. They have also won five of the past seven played in New Jersey.

Brodeur could get the start tonight and is 38-16-3 with five ties, five shutouts and a 2.12 goals against average in his career versus the Bolts.

Schneider is 1-0-1 with a 4.30 GAA in two meetings with Tampa Bay.

Steven Stamkos had Tampa Bay's lone goal in New Jersey back in October, but is out due to surgery on a broken leg suffered on Nov. 11. The Lightning are 6-5-3 since losing their top player and are coming off a 2-1 shootout victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Martin St. Louis had the lone tally of the shootout, sneaking a wrister past Detroit's Jonas Gustavsson in the sixth round. Ben Bishop then came up with a save on Johan Franzen to snap Tampa Bay's two-game slide and give it points in four straight (2-0-2).

"We did a good job of containing them," said Bishop, who made 28 saves through overtime. "They have a lot of offensive guys over there."

Nikita Kucherov scored in regulation for Tampa Bay, which will now play its next three on the road and has lost six in a row as the visiting club. The Lightning have not won as the guest since Nov. 12 in Montreal and are 6-7-2 overall on the road this season.

Bishop stopped 20-of-22 shots faced against the Devils on Oct. 29 and is 2-2-0 with a 1.45 GAA versus them in four career starts.

12/14 10:25:34 ET