Jon Gillies makes 32 saves, but Devils fall to Lightning, 3-2

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Jon Gillies gets frosted while making a save against the Devils
Jon Gillies gets frosted while making a save against the Devils

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Anthony Cirelli had the tiebreaking goal midway through the third after failing to score on a second-period penalty shot, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Thursday night.

Cirelli made it 3-2 off a pass from Brayden Point at 11:55, exactly 1 minute after Jack Hughes tied it for the Devils.

Alex Killorn and Mathieu Joseph had the other Lightning goals, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves as Tampa Bay improved to 11-1-1 in its last 13 home games.

New Jersey got a goal and an assist from Damon Severson. Jesper Bratt had two assists.

Tampa Bay played without right wing Nikita Kucherov, who is in COVID-19 protocols. Coach Jon Cooper couldn’t say whether Kucherov will return before next week’s All-Star break.

New Jersey’s Jon Gillies, acquired from St. Louis last month, stopped 32 shots in his seventh game this season and 19th of his career.

The Devils, who have lost six of seven, are without injured goalies Mackenzie Blackwood (left heel) and Jonathan Bernier (season-ending right hip surgery). Blackwood was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

Joseph put the Lightning up 2-1 on a short-handed rebound goal of his own shot with 5:44 left in the second. It came 26 seconds after Gillies made a pad save on Cirelli’s penalty shot as Tampa Bay outshot the Devils 6-2 while Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta served a 4-minute high-sticking penalty.

Killorn tied it at 1 on a power-play rebound goal early in the second.

Severson gave the Devils a power-play goal in six consecutive games when he opened the scoring from the blue line 4:33 into the game. Tampa Bay had its stretch of not allowing a power-play goal in seven straight games at home end.

New Jersey nearly took a 2-0 lead midway through the first when Yegor Sharangovich’s shot went off Vasilevskiy’s glove and was swept away from goal line by Lightning forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

Gillies stopped all 18 shots he faced during the first. New Jersey had 12 shots in the period.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Devils: Defenseman Dougie Hamilton (jaw surgery on Jan. 5) is practicing in a no-contact jersey. ... Center Michael McLeod (upper body) went on injured reserve. ... Defenseman Ty Smith (upper body) returned after missing three games.

Lightning: Defensemen Erik Cernak (lower body) and Zach Bogosian (lower body) are not expected back before the All-Star break.

UP NEXT

Devils: At Carolina on Saturday night.

Lightning: Host Vegas on Saturday night.