The Tampa Bay Lightning continued their road trip on Tuesday night as they visited the New Jersey Devils and struggled to get much done offensively as they were defeated 2-1.
It was one of those games that you knew it was going to be a close, one goal game that may come down to special teams when its all said and done. New Jersey has led the league in shorthanded goals the last two seasons so it was not surprising to see them take advantage of an opportunity Tuesday night when Adam Henrique was able to finish a play he started back in his own defensive zone and emerging up the ice with Patrik Elias.
The Devils second goal of the game was scored by Jaromir Jagr after taking the puck away from Martin St. Louis and coming in alone on goaltender Ben Bishop and ripping it top shelf providing a 2-0 lead halfway through the game.
Jagr, 41, passed Phil Esposito with his career 119th game winning goal and is just two behind Gordie Howe.
Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop finished the night stopping 20 of the 22 shots he faced. For the seventh time in this young season Bishop has given up two goals or less, Tuesday night was the first time that stat resulted in a loss.
Steven Stamkos got the Lightning on the board at the 15:23 mark of the second period while on the power play getting his own rebound through Martin Brodeur after deflecting a pass from Teddy Purcell into the pads of Brodeur.
Tampa Bay could not keep consistent offensive pressure as a result of nine turnovers, and sluggish defensive play within the neutral zone to a New Jersey team that capitalizes on their opponents mistakes.
Tyler Johnson continued his strong efforts for Tampa Bay including a burst through the neutral zone, splitting two defenders to find himself alone against Brodeur who turned his scoring chance away late in the first period.
Brodeur made 16 saves on 17 shots as he started in place of the injured Cory Schneider.
Jon Cooper expressed his frustration with his team’s result following the game.
“When you get less than 20 shots in a hockey game, that’s not very hard to play against,” Cooper said. “I know Marty Brodeur is a first ballot Hall of Famer, but he could have had a cigarette and a cup of coffee and played that game. That’s what’s frustrating.”
Tampa Bay has a couple days off before their next game on the road against former division rival Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.
Eric Brewer played in his 900th career NHL game.
Radko Gudas had his game misconduct that he received Sunday vs Florida rescinded by the league on Tuesday.
Tampa Bay is ranked 29th in the league shots for per game with 26.3.