Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lightning Bedeviled By Another Shootout Defeat

By JC De La Torre
The Tampa Bay Lightning know one thing for sure - if the game heads to a shootout, more than likely, its going to end badly for the Bolts. For the fourth time in five tries, the Lightning fell in the shoot out, this time to the New Jersey Devils 4-3.

Playing without Martin Brodeur, who will be out for a couple months due to an injury, New Jersey got a solid performance from former Tampa Bay netminder Kevin Weekes and found offense for the first time in awhile, ending a lengthy scoring drought with a three goal outburst against Tampa Bay's Mike Smith. Smith finished the game with 27 saves on 30 shots.

Tampa Bay jumped out first with the suddenly hot Jussi Jokinen's 3rd goal of the season at the 16:28 mark of the first period. The Devils got two in the second, from David Clarkson and Patrick Elias on the power play to stake New Jersey to a 2-1 advantage.

At the 10:52 mark of the third, Jussi Jokinen scored again as he buried a gorgeous feed from defenseman Andrej Meszaros to tie the game at 2. Jay Pandalfo would score to put Jersey back on top with 4:50 left in the game, but a minute later Martin St. Louis scored for the second time this season, this time on a rebound of a Vinny Lecavalier blast.

Overtime would go scoreless and the Lightning would go scoreless in the shootout while Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner would find the back of the net to give New Jersey the shoot out win.

Tampa Bay falls to 4-3-4 12 pts on the season, tied for 2nd in the Southeast division, 4 points behind the division leading Carolina Hurricanes. The Lightning are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference.

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