That game last night was literally a roller coaster ride. The Devils started off and looked very good, then started to head down hill, got an extremely lucky goal in the end to force OT. They looked OK in the extra period and then were lights out in the shootout, although Marty got a little lucky on the Stamkos shot and a little luckier on the Malone miss.
The Lightning fans must feel pretty awful this morning about the loss. It's never easy to give up a last second goal and have points snatched away from you. I certainly think it showed in the OT as the Lightning came out completely flat for the first couple minutes.
Parise got his first point while on the power play early in the game which was an important issue for this team. The Devils need to get confidence on their PP and I think Parise putting one home will certainly help that and going 1 for 2 on PP oppurtunities is nothing to be ashamed of. Allowing TB to go 1 for 4 on PP oppurtunities is also a step in the right direction.
I thought Marty played an OK game, stopping 41 shots is respectable but I can't help feeling like he's lost a step this season. Those Stamkos goals were a little hard to stomach but I don't know who I blame more, Marty for letting them go by for the Devils D for letting Stamkos set up shop in the slot like that not once but twice.
Parise in the shootout was just sick, no other word to describe it. We saw that move against the Rangers in pre-season but I guess TB didn't have film on that one. I know he used his backhand A LOT last year and it looked like that's what Smith was expecting. On a seperate note, Smith took a pretty hard hit in the second but I was glad to see him stay in the game.
So as I pointed out yesterday, Lemaire got his first win as a Devils coach against TB in 1993 and repeats that again in 2009. The Devils were able to string together 6 more wins after beating TB in 1993, lets hope that can repeat that performace, starting with Florida tomorrow night.
My Three Stars:
1. Stamkos 2. Parise 3. Zajac