EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Brad Richards scored both goals in regulation and had the only tally in the shootout to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Richards, second up for Tampa Bay in the shootout, whipped a forehand shot over Martin Brodeur for the decisive tally.
Johan Holmqvist was steady throughout for the Lightning, making 25 saves in regulation, and one more in overtime before denying Zach Parise, Brian Gionta and Patrik Elias in the shootout.
The Lightning won for the sixth time in their last seven games.
Jay Pandolfo and Paul Martin scored in regulation for the Devils who had won three straight and nine of their last 11 games.
Richards scored twice in the second period to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead.
Richards evened the score at 1 as he took a long lead pass from Paul Ranger and got the jump on the Devils defense. Richards broke in alone and beat Brodeur with a forehand at 4:07.
Richard struck again for a power-play goal with 3.5 seconds remaining. After Dan Boyle took a point shot that Brodeur blocked, Vincent Lecavalier appeared to steer the rebound to Richards, who hit the wide-open left side of the cage. Lecavalier was not credited with an assist by the official scorer though St. Louis did get one to extend his point-scoring streak to 13 games — the longest in the NHL this season.
The Devils evened the score at 2 on Martin’s first goal of the season with 7:10 left in regulation. With New Jersey on a power play, Martin dug the puck out of a scrum along the right board, skated into the circle and beat the Holmqvist to the short side.
Pandolfo opened the scoring 1:58 into the game. Taking a feed from John Madden, Pandolfo beat Holmqvist from the slot with a shot that hit the goalie’s pad on the way into the net.
Tampa Bay had a golden opportunity to pull even with less than 2 minutes left in the period, but Lecavalier hit the crossbar.
Notes: Holmqvist made his first appearance against the Devils. … Devils D Johnny Oduya returned after missing six games with a shoulder injury. … The game was the first of four this season between the Lightning and Devils. … The Lightning’s consecutive game point-scoring record is 13. St. Louis had done it previously as had linemate Vinny Prospal and Brian Bradley. … Lecavalier saw two personal streaks end: he had scored goals in five straight and had picked up points in eight in a row.