The Lightning held the advantage in shots, 15-5. Tampa leads the overall shots, 23-12.
Martin St. Louis broke the scoreless tie at 2:20 of the period. After Steven Stamkos won a faceoff in the Devils zone, Steven Downie passed the puck to St. Louis in the hight slot. His quick wrist shot beat Johan Hedberg for St. Louis' 23rd goal of the season.
Dwayne Roloson made a big save to preserve his team's lead just 23 seconds after they gained it. Ilya Kovalchuk forced a turnover and broke in on goal. With Eric Brewer right behind, Kovalchuk tried to go toward the glove side. Roloson stacked the pads and stoned the Devils' hottest scorer.
Simon Gagne extended the lead to 2-0 at 3:14 of the period. The Devils were once again victimized off the faceoff, as Dainius Zubrus attempted to kick the puck to himself but sent it to the stick of Gagne. The left-winger ripped a shot from the low slot over Hedberg's glove for his 10th goal of the season.
The Devils also lost David Clarkson for most of the period. After throwing a body check, Clarkson fell on the skate of a Lightning defenseman. He cut his wrist open and was immediately brought to the locker room.
If the Lightning can hold on, it would be their first home win over the Devils in their past eight attempts.
Tampa Bay will begin the third period with 51 seconds remaining in Jason Arnott's hooking penalty.