The New Jersey Devils suddenly find themselves in the skids as they get ready to embark on a tough four-game road trip leading off with the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins. On Sunday night, they fell 4-3 to a .500 Tampa Bay Lightning squad. Martin St. Louis had a spectacular night for scoring three goals and assisting on a fourth. The hat trick was the sixth of the 36-year-old's career.
The Devils held a 1-0 lead going into the second period, thanks to an unassisted Alexei Ponikarovsky goal just over 12 minutes into the game. St. Louis picked up his first two goals of the night in the second period to put Tampa Bay up 2-1, however. The first beat Martin Brodeur gloveside after Steven Stamkos found St. Louis streaking open in front of the net. Brodeur had no chance on the second, after a deflection in front of a well-screened net gave St. Louis a gaping opening to shoot on.
Peter Sykora notched the 2-2 equalizer from the wide side of the net on a nice pass from Steve Bernier. The Lightning scored two straight to put the game out of reach however. Zach Parise scored on a powerplay with 2:35 remaining to create the final 4-3 score.
Brodeur faced 16 shots on goal, but saved only 12 for one of his shakiest outings of the season. Martin Garon made just 19 saves on 22 shots, but on Sunday night it was good enough to give the Devils their 22nd loss on the season.
For more on the Devils, check out the SB Nation blog In Lou We Trust.