Damn, it feels good to be home!
Alex Killorn, Mathieu Joseph & Anthony Cirelli each scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the visiting New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Thursday night in their first game at Amalie Arena in nearly two weeks.
Cirelli's goal, his 12th of the year, came at the 9:05 mark of the 3rd period, exactly one minute after New Jersey's Jack Hughes scored to tie the game at two apiece.
In the first period, the Devils opened the scoring with a Damon Severson power play goal at 4:33. The New Jersey defenseman threw a shot on net through traffic that Vasilevskiy couldn't see to put the visitors up 1-0.
Even though they started slow, the Lightning played better, and got more chances, as the period went on. The Bolts outshot the Devils 18-12 in the 1st.
Trailing by a goal, Tampa Bay didn't wait long to find the equalizer early on in the 2nd.
Following a high sticking call to Andreas Johnsson, Killorn found a rebound of a Victor Hedman point blast & backhanded a shot past New Jersey netminder Jon Gillies to tie the score at 1-1 just 106 seconds into the period. That goal was Killorn's 40th point of the year, the Lightning winger now has 40+ points in 6 of his 10 seasons with Tampa Bay.
The turning point of the game was when Jan Rutta picked up a double-minor high sticking penalty at the 12:21 mark. Not only did the Bolts kill off the entire four minutes, but they get the better of the scoring chances.
Anthony Cirelli was awarded a penalty shot after being hooked on a breakaway. Unfortunately for the Bolts, Cirelli's attempt was stopped by Gillies.
The Lightning's dangerous PK didn't stop there.
Joseph, racing down the right wing, fired a shot on net that Gillies stopped and thought he had in his equipment somewhere.....but he was wrong! Joseph followed the shot and quickly snapped the lonely puck into the net to put Tampa Bay up 2-1 at 14:16.
Gillies made 32 saves in defeat for New Jersey.
Welcome Back Pally! : Ondrej Palat, who missed the last five games with a lower-body injury, logged 16:19 of ice time & picked up an assist on the Cirelli goal.
- New Jersey - PPG - Severson - (Bratt) - 4:33
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Killorn - (Hedman, Stamkos) - 1:46
- Tampa Bay - SHG - Joseph - (Unassisted) - 14:16
- New Jersey - Hughes - (Bratt, Severson) - 10:55
- Tampa Bay - Cirelli - (Point, Palat) - 11:55
- Tampa Bay - Sergachev - (High Sticking) - 3:10
- New Jersey - Johnsson - (High Sticking) - 0:32
- Tampa Bay - DOUBLE MINOR - Rutta - (High Sticking) - 12:21
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Saturday night as they welcome the Vegas Golden Knights to Amalie Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm with the pregame show starting at 6:00pm on NewsRadio WFLA & Lightning PowerPlay.
PHOTO : Getty Images