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Devils 5, Lightning 4: Offense Explodes, Devils Hold Off Late Rally For Win

The New Jersey Devils offense exploded tonight, hanging a rare five goals on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

But, once again, the defense failed to show up late in the game.

New Jersey scored three goals in the second period and held off a late Tampa Bay rally to defeat the Lightning, 5-4, tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum.

After the game ended, DeBoer was able to laugh off the defensive breakdowns.

"We got more offense," DeBoer told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record while laughing during the postgame interview. "We scored some goals. We've obviously got to tighten up some things and, hopefully, still create those three goals a night."

Five different skaters scored for New Jersey. Zach Parise and Adam Henrique both finished with three points (one goal, two assists). Petr Sykora, Ilya Kovalchuk and Dainius Zubrus also scored for the Devils, who won their second straight road game.

Sykora opened the scoring, beating Dwayne Roloson just 28 seconds into the first period. Roloson re-directed a shot from Bryce Salvador into the slot area, but none of his defenders were around. Sykora skated alone into the slot and fired a backhanded shot into the open net for his sixth goal of the season.

Zubrus stretched the lead to 2-0 at 5:38 of the first period, netting a power play goal. With Eric Brewer in the box for holding, Matt Taormina held the puck at the point. Zubrus deflected his shot past Roloson for his ninth goal of the season.

Tampa Bay responded, with Steve Downie and Blair Jones scoring late in the first period to tie the game, 2-2.

The Devils offense exploded in the second period, scoring three goals. Parise started the scoring, netting his ninth of the year just 56 seconds into the middle frame. That goal chased Roloson from the game.

Kovalchuk followed Parise with his ninth of the year, converting on a 2-on-0 rush. Henrique would end the scoring, tallying a shorthanded goal at 13:23 of the period.

Tampa Bay wouldn't go away easily. Steven Stamkos scored two third period goals to pull the Bolts within one, but couldn't push his team into a tie.

Final - 12.12.2011 1 2 3 Total
New Jersey Devils 2 3 0 5
Tampa Bay Lightning 2 0 2 4

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