Tampa Bay Lightning Game 43: at the New Jersey Devils
The Tampa Bay Lightning finally beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 in a very oddly situated game.
As everyone surely knows by now, this game started on Friday night, but was delayed. The first half was played – literally since the game was stopped with 9:12 left to go in the second and the score 3-0 Lightning – but stopped due to arena lighting issues. Both teams played in other cities Saturday; New Jersey went to Montreal while Tampa Bay went to Philadelphia. Then the second half was played Sunday night, picking up where they had left off on Friday.
Despite the fact that the game was picking up right where it had left off, there were a couple of player substitutions made. The league had to approve on the substitutions in order for either team to do that, however. So while this game had started with a 20-man roster for each team, that’s not how it finished. The Lightning substituted Andrej Meszaros and David Hale for Mattias Ohlund and Matt Smaby due to injuries/sickness. New Jersey also made at least one substitution as well, Martin Brodeur sat out and Yann Danis played in his place - but that wasn’t a roster change, just a goaltending change. So in the end, the Lightning had a 22-man roster for that one game, which is technically against league rules, though because of the unusual circumstances it was approved by the league.
Fans that had attended the first half of the game were let in for free for the second half. However, only 3,000 fans decided to take the Devils up on that offer. For most people, there probably wouldn’t see much point in going to something where you start out down 3-0. So that’s not too surprising.
The first half of the game, while not spectacular, did see the Lightning up 3-0 over the Devils. The second half of the game was rather lackluster for both squads. No one really seemed into the game – for, perhaps, obvious reasons – until the very end.
New Jersey scored two goals in the third period. There was a no-look pass from Martin St. Louis to Steven Stamkos in the third as well. Stamkos’s goal was the only one by the Lightning on Sunday. Mike Smith looked a little sluggish at times, but he played better than the Devils offense for most of the second half.
The next game for the Lightning is Tuesday, 12 January, against the Washington Capitals at home. Game time is the regular home start of 7:30 PM Eastern. Go out and watch the Lightning take down the division leaders – or stay at home and join us on the game thread.
Lightning vs Devils coverage [SB Nation]
In Lou We Trust [SB Nation New Jersey Devils site]
Lightning vs Devils recap [TSN]