Tampa Bay Lightning (56-23-3-2) vs. New Jersey Devils (44-31-5-4)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, April 16, 2018
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
The Tampa Bay Lightning (1st in Atlantic Division) travel to Newark for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round matchup against the New Jersey Devils (East’s 2nd Wild Card), who are trailing the series 2-0.
Lightning Shine Again
The Tampa Bay Lightning (2-0) remained unbeaten during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, winning Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New Jersey Devils with a score of 5-3 at Amalie Arena on Saturday. Alex Killorn (3 goals, 3 points during the current postseason) netted twice. Nikita Kucherov (2 goals, 4 points) notched a marker and two assists. Brayden Point (1 goal, 3 points) scored and assisted, while Tyler Johnson (2 goals, 3 points) banked his 23rd playoff career strike. The Bolts have now netted five goals in each of their first two postseason contests after doing so in 25 outings during the regular campaign.
Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 41 saves and has now gone 2-0 for the ongoing playoffs with a 2.50 GAA and a .933 save percentage. He has recorded a 6-5 tally in all previous postseason appearances so far with a 2.79 GAA and a .922 save percentage and, prior to the current playoffs, went 1-3-0 against the New Jersey Devils historically with a 2.85 GAA and a .905 save percentage. The Lightning, meanwhile, are scoring the 2nd highest quantity of goals per game during the ongoing postseason (5.00), while giving up the 6th lowest amount in their defensive zone (2.50). They are top of the table in power play with a 75.0% success rate (3-for-4) and 6th in penalty kill with 80.0% efficiency (4-for-5).
Devils Struggle Versus Bolts
Despite beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in all three meetings during the regular season, the New Jersey Devils (0-2) are yet to break their opponent in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, losing 5-3 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Amalie Arena on Saturday. The Devils outshot the Bolts 44-26, but failed miserably with their special teams, going 0-for-3 on power play and just 1-for-3 on penalty kill, allowing four goals on 10 shots in a matter of 10 minutes in the second period alone. Nico Hischier, Sami Vatanen and Blake Coleman all recorded their first playoff goals (and points) for the current campaign.
Goalie Keith Kinkaid (0-2 during the ongoing postseason with a 5.87 GAA and a .804 save percentage) was pulled after allowing five goals on 15 shots in just over 33 minutes of play, while Cory Schneider (1-4 in his playoff career with a 2.46 GAA and a .925 save percentage) stopped all 10 shots faced in relief. He is 4-4-1 versus Tampa Bay previously with a 3.07 GAA and a .904 save percentage, while Kinkaid had posted a 2-1-1 past total against the Lightning ahead of the current postseason with a 2.43 GAA and a .915 save percentage. The Devils, meanwhile, are netting the 6th lowest number of goals per game during the ongoing playoffs (2.50), while conceding the 2nd highest amount defensively (5.00). They are 8th in power play with a 20.0% return (1-for-5) and bottom of the table in penalty kill with 25.0% proficiency (1-for-4).
- Lightning are 5-16 in their last 21 meetings with Devils in New Jersey.
- Devils are 5-1 in their last 6 home games.
- Devils are 6-2 in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Devils are 36-16 in their last 52 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days.
The Devils have not looked too good in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Lightning. And only because the Bolts have been so darn good! Still, they have outshot Tampa Bay 75-57 throughout the first two fixtures and could do with a change of scenery, coming back to the place where they have won five of their past six domestic contests and have beaten the Lightning on the last three occasions.