Hedman ignites 3rd baseman, Lightning beat New Jersey 6-3. | Sports

NEWARK, NJ (AP) — Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored 3:04 into the third period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied from a first-two deficit to beat the New York Devils. Jersey 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn had scored within 41 seconds at the end of the second period to tie the game at 3 all. Pat Maroon also scored for the Lightning and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves as Tampa Bay improved to 8-2-1 in its last 11.

Rookie Dawson Mercer had a goal and two assists for New Jersey, which lost nine of 11. Jack Hughes and Yegor Sharangovich added a goal and an assist. Jon Gillies made 24 saves before being relieved after the sixth goal.

Hedman broke the 3-all tie with a left-point slap shot at 7:17 that beat Gillies on screen. Kucherov made it a two-goal game on a breakaway less than two minutes later. Bellemare swept a loose puck into an open net after Gillies misplayed a shot from Corey Perry, who also got the main assist on Hedman’s goal.

Trailing 3-1 with less than five minutes left in the second period, the Lighting finally woke up. Stamkos, who has three goals in his last two games, cut the deficit to one goal with a shot from the top of the circles. Killorn tied the game by tipping a point shot by Mikhail Sergachev past Gillies.

Mercer and Hughes did the majority of the work to move New Jersey forward.

Mercer got credit for New Jersey’s first goal, but Hughes made the play. He checked Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak as he handled the puck close to his net and the force of the check pushed the puck off the stick and into the net. Mercer got his 11th goal because he was the last Devil to have the puck.

Maroon tied the game less than a minute later, collecting a loose puck up front and beating Gillies from close quarters.

A gift from Hedman on the penalty kill in his own end led to a power play goal from Sharangovich at 19:04.

Hughes made it 3-1 less than two minutes into the second period when he fired his own rebound into the net after Vasilevskiy snuffed out his one-on-one chance. Mercer created the initial chance, taking the puck from Lightning Cal Foote defenseman at the blue line.

NOTES: Killorn’s goal was his 162nd, moving him past Tyler Johnson for fifth in Lightning history. … Devils center Nico Hischier saw his four-game scoring streak come to an end. He’s been tied for the longest of his career. … Perry is still looking for his 400th career goal.


Lightning: Host Edmonton on Feb. 23.

Devils: In Pittsburgh on February 24.


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