- Associated Press - Saturday, February 17, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Eddie Lack found fault in a stellar performance that helped the New Jersey Devils win their third consecutive game.

Lack made a career-high 48 saves and the Devils beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday night.

“This wasn’t my best game by far,” Lack said. “Two of those goals, I mean, I didn’t make it easy on myself. I felt like the biggest thing for me was just to battle. Coming in I knew I was going to get a lot of shots.”

Making his third appearance as the backup since being recalled from Binghamton of the AHL on Feb. 4, Lack made a terrific glove save on Brayden Point’s in-close shot midway through the second.

“Eddie was awesome,” Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. “That’s a really good team over there. They have a ton of skill. They play hard.”

Lovejoy, Nico Hischier, Pavel Zacha and Miles Wood scored for the Devils. Taylor Hall had an assist and has a point in each of the last 17 games he has played in.

Tampa Bay got goals from Chris Kunitz, Point and Steven Stamkos, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 24 shots.

“We gave them the opportunity to win the game and they took advantage,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

The Lightning, who have lost four of seven, fell a point behind Vegas for the NHL’s best record.

Devils went ahead 3-2 on Zacha’s 2-on-1 short-handed goal at 6:27 of the second.

Zacha’s goal came while Wood was serving two minor penalties, including a boarding infraction for a dangerous hit on Vladislav Namestnikov. The left wing and Tampa Bay’s Andrej Sustr, whose visor broke and cut his nose, were sent off for roughing during the same sequence.

Both Sustr and Namestnikov played in the third period.

Wood extended the lead to 4-2 from the slot 1:24 into the third before Stamkos made it a one-goal game on the power play at 5:15.

“A lot of mistakes,” Stamkos said. “Three goals should be enough to win.”

Point stopped a nine-game goal drought with his 21st goal on the power play at 2:47 of the second but the Devils pulled even at 2 just 26 seconds when Hischier scored during a 2-on-1.

After Lovejoy got his first goal in 31 games from along the right wing boards 2:59 into the first, Kunitz tied it at 1 with 7:19 left in the period.

“A well-placed shot that went in,” Lovejoy said with a smile. “I assume Vasilevskiy did not see my shot. Miles Wood skated right in front of him.”

NOTES: Devils C Brian Boyle missed his third straight game with a right shoulder injury. . Tampa Bay RW Nikita Kucherov had an assist and has a six-game point streak. He has 11 shots on goal. . New Jersey C Travis Zajac moved past Jay Pandolfo into sixth place among skaters on the Devils games list with 820.

UP NEXT

Devils: At Carolina on Sunday.

Lightning: Start a three-game road trip Tuesday night at Washington.


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