Tampa Bay at New Jersey
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Friday, December 19, 2014
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
After snapping a two-game skid, the Tampa Bay Lightning vie for a second straight victory on their five-game road trip when they visit the reeling New Jersey Devils on Friday. Tyler Johnson collected a goal and an assist in Tampa Bay's 3-1 triumph over Philadelphia on Tuesday to increase his point total to 12 in his last 11 games. Johnson also notched an assist on Alex Killorn's tally in Tampa Bay's 2-1 loss to New Jersey on Oct. 14.
New Jersey dropped a 2-0 decision to Ottawa on Wednesday for its fifth straight loss (0-3-2) and 11th in 13 contests (2-7-4). While understanding the team's situation, coach Peter DeBoer told reporters he's not spending any time worrying about his job security. "If it ends tomorrow, I know what I invested and what our staff has invested into these players, and I think we’re all comfortable with that," DeBoer said.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVA, Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), MSG (New Jersey)
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (20-10-3): Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 23 saves in his NHL debut and may receive the nod either Friday or Saturday (at the New York Islanders) as Ben Bishop works his way back from an upper-body injury. Evgeni Nabokov has dropped 11-of-17 career appearances versus the Devils and could get the start against his former team in the Islanders. Captain Steven Stamkos certainly doesn't struggle against New Jersey, recording 22 points (12 goals and 10 assists) in as many meetings.
ABOUT THE DEVILS (11-16-6): Fans at Prudential Center voiced their displeasure with New Jersey's performance on Wednesday, and Cory Schneider heard them loud and clear. "It's not for a lack of effort or for a lack of trying," Schneider told the Bergen Record regarding his team's struggles. "It would be one thing if we were just laying down every night and getting blown out of the building, but we’re right there every single night." Mike Cammalleri, who scored a power-play goal in the third period in the teams' first meeting, skated on his own Thursday and is questionable to play versus Tampa Bay as he works his way past a lower-body injury.
1. New Jersey rookie D Damon Severson is expected to miss four to five weeks with a hairline fracture in his left ankle.
2. Tampa Bay has gone 0-for-4 on the power play in two of its last three games and also failed on all four opportunities with the man advantage in the first meeting with the Devils.
3. New Jersey assigned D Adam Larsson to Albany of the American Hockey League for a conditioning stint. The 22-year-old Swede had been sidelined with mumps.
PREDICTION: Lightning 5, Devils 2
Stats and Records