Martin Brodeur appeared headed toward another shutout until the Tampa Bay Lightning had a late surge.
The veteran goalie was more than satisfied that New Jersey ended up with a win, though.
Brodeur held Tampa Bay scoreless for 51 minutes, David Clarkson had a goal and an assist and the Devils hung on for a 4-2 victory Saturday night.
Brodeur lost out on a bid to extend his NHL record to 117 shutouts when Martin St. Louis scored from in-close and cut the Lightning’s deficit to 3-1 at 8:24 of the third period. Brodeur made 21 saves en route to his NHL-best 629th career win.
”It’s all about winning games,” Brodeur said. ”I thought we played an extremely disciplined game.”
Ryan Shannon’s first goal in 15 games, which came 90 seconds after St. Louis scored, got Tampa Bay within 3-2.
Dainius Zubrus, Patrik Elias and Ryan Carter, who scored with 2:03 to play in the third, had the other New Jersey goals.
”We made it a little more interesting than we should’ve, but two points is two points, right?” Clark said.
Tampa Bay had its six-game home winning streak snapped.
Lightning coach Guy Boucher said his team took soft and lazy penalties and didn’t deserve to win. He also failed to mention several key players, including Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier, among those who showed up to play.
”This game takes a full team effort,” Boucher said.
Zubrus put the Devils up 1-0 at 1:09 of the second. He made a nifty stick-handling move, then beat goalie Dwayne Roloson from the left circle.
Elias made it 2-0 off a nice pass from Clarkson during a power play 6:05 into the second. The Devils have scored with the man advantage in a season-high three straight games.
Brodeur stopped a backhander by St. Louis during a mid-second period power play.
”Another good game for Marty,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. ”He’s a calming presence back there for us when you need him.”
The Devils took a 3-0 lead with 2:16 left in the second when Clarkson scored a lunging, backhanded power-play goal.
Clark’s goal came after Roloson misplayed the puck behind the net.
”Bad bounce off the glass,” Roloson said. ”It was an error on my part. I pretty much cost us the game.”
Roloson finished with 20 saves.
New Jersey outshot the Lightning 10-3 during a scoreless first. Stamkos got Tampa Bay’s first shot, which was easily turned aside by Brodeur eight minutes into the game.
”We didn’t get it done,” St. Louis said. ”It’s disappointing.”
NOTES: DeBoer will face his old team, the Florida Panthers, for the first time Monday night. ”For a lot of reasons, I’d like to win that one,” DeBoer said with a laugh. ”It will be interesting. I haven’t been back to a place I’ve been fired before, so it will be a first-time experience for me. Listen, I had three great years there.” … Roloson (42 years, 1 month) and Brodeur (39 years, 6 months) are a combined 81 years, 7 months old. … Tampa Bay LW Ryan Malone was in the lineup after missing four games due to an undisclosed upper body injury. … Carter got his first assist in 27 games on Zubrus’ goal. … Lightning D Mattias Ohlund, who hasn’t played this season because of right and left knee injuries, has resumed limited on-ice practice. … Tampa Bay C Tom Pyatt left with an upper body injury.