The New Jersey Devils are beginning to play their easiest hockey of the season and it price the Tampa Bay Lightning their franchise-record tying 10-game profitable streak.
The enhanced play wasn’t sufficient to save lots of the process of Devils basic supervisor Ray Shero.
Louis Domingue stopped 26 photographs in opposition to his former group because the Devils passed the Lightning their first loss since Dec. 21 with a 3-1 victory Sunday night time.
The Devils’ 2nd win in two days — they beat Washington on Saturday — got here with a extraordinary twist. Shero used to be fired via proprietor Josh Harris previous within the afternoon and many of the gamers didn’t in finding out till 90 mins ahead of the outlet faceoff.
“You beat two of the most productive groups within the league again to again nights, end up to your self you were given what it takes on this locker room and that’s numerous amusing,” ahead Blake Coleman stated. “At the different aspect of the coin, a perfect chief isn’t with us anymore and he’s the explanation we’re all on this room.’’
Travis Zajac, Andy Greene and Miles Wooden scored for the disappointing Devils, who made the playoffs as soon as in Shero’s four-plus yr tenure. They fired trainer John Hynes in early December.
Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning, who tied their consecutive wins listing on Saturday with a 1-Zero win over Philadelphia. Curtis McElhinney made 17 saves in getting the beginning rather than Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had shutouts within the final two video games.
The profitable streak used to be tied for the longest within the league this season. The Islanders additionally received 10 in a row.
“We’ve been enjoying some lovely just right hockey,” Johnson stated. “The time table hasn’t been too sort to us. It’s as much as us to throw the ones in combination and play whole group video games. It says so much about us. I believe we’ve grown. This night wasn’t our night time. Now we flip the web page and with a bit of luck get started everywhere.”
Domingue, who used to be 21-5-Zero with the Lightning final season ahead of being shipped to New Jersey on Nov. 1, began each video games throughout the weekend. He made a save on a Nikita Kucherov from the slot within the latter part of the second one era to maintain the lead.
“It’s such the most important sport for me.” Domingue stated. “Now not handiest am I enjoying in opposition to my outdated group, I’m seeking to stick on this league and display that I will be able to play. It’s a day by day factor. It’s now not one thing you do over the years. It’s important to do it each and every unmarried day. So much at stake this night. I will be able to’t even describe the sensation I’ve at this time. It’s like profitable my first sport everywhere once more.”
After a scoreless first era, the groups traded objectives early in the second one.
Zajac were given the sport winner, deflecting a shot via Nikita Gusev.
Johnson beat Domingue in shut within the opening minute and Greene tied the sport at 3:10 with a shot from the left level for his first function of the season.
It additionally used to be the primary function allowed via the Lightning in 169:05. That they had close out Arizona and Philadelphia of their final two video games.
Wooden scored into an empty web with a 2nd to play.
“I think we’ve crushed numerous just right groups in recent times,” Zajac stated. “The ones video games really feel just right while you do it. It simply will give you self belief while you know you’ll be able to play in opposition to a few of these elite groups which might be Stanley Cup contenders.”
NOTES: Devils recalled G Cory Schneider from Binghamton on Sunday. … G Evan Cormier used to be despatched to the AHL group. … Lightning D Erik Cernak performed in his 100th NHL sport. … No. 1 general draft pick out Jack Hughes returned to Devils’ lineup after lacking 5 video games with an upper-body damage and had an lend a hand on Greene’s function. … New Jersey main function scorer Kyle Palmieri (16) used to be out with a lower-body damage. … Lightning LW Pat Maroon used to be out with undisclosed damage. …Gusev misplaced a third-period function as a result of Coleman interferred with McElhinney.
Lightning: Host Kings on Tuesday night time.
Devils: Face Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday night time.
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