New York, NY - David Clarkson led the New Jersey Devils (25-13-5) to a huge 6-3 comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning (25-13-5) in hockey action on Sunday evening. The winger scored in the first and third periods of play to lead the Devils offensive surge.
Tampa Bay was able to get on the board first at the 2:36 mark of the first period when Teddy Purcell (7), put in a 17 foot wrister, which was set up by Mattias Ritola (4) and Steve Downie (13) for the 1-0 lead.
Clarkson (6) was able to strike for his first goal of the game at the 5:55 mark of that frame. The winger who was set up by Tim Sestito (1) and Rod Pelly (2) was able to put in a 13 foot backhanded shot to tie the score up at 1-1.
The Lightning were however able to gain the lead on a power play opportunity later on in that frame. It was at the 15:13 mark when Henrik Tallinder was sent to the sin bin for two minutes for hooking Lightning center Dominic Moore. Then Ryan Malone (11) gave Tampa Bay the lead on an eight foot wrister at the 16:01 mark, which was set up by Vincent Lecavalier (11) and Martin St. Louis (35) to make the score 2-1.
New Jersey then opened the flood gates of offense in the third period. It all began for the Devils on a power play opportunity when Moore was sent to the sin bin for tripping New Jersey blue liner Matthew Corrente. Clarkson (7) was able to then tally a 40 foot slap shot at the 4:14 mark to notch the two teams up at 2-2. That second New Jersey goal was set up by Ilya Kovalchuk (12) and Patrik Elias (20).
The offensive flurry would continue for the Devils at the 7:52 mark when Henrik Tallinder (4) and Vladimir Zharkov (1) were able to find Jason Arnott (10). The center was then able to deflected a nine foot shot to give New Jersey the 3-2 lead. Dainius Zubrus (6) added to the Devils lead at the 14:06 mark, as Brian Roloson (4) and Elias (21) were able to find the center. Zubrus then ripped a 13 foot wrister to make the score 4-2 in favor of New Jersey.
Elias (9) was then able to join the offensive flurry at the 18:45 mark when Roloson (5) found the winger who netted a 18 foot wrister into an empty net, to give the Devils the 5-2 lead. The Lightning were able to strike back though in that frame finding a goal from Dominic Moore (7), who was able to record a 11 foot wrist shot, at the 19:09 mark. Moore was able to get that shot past Devils keeper Martin Brodeur to cut the Devils lead to 5-3.
New Jersey would however find an answer as rookie Nick Palmieri tallied a 27 foot slap shot for his first NHL goal. Setting up that milestone moment was Ilya Kovalchuk (13) and Brodeur (1), that goal also put the icing on the Devils 6-3 victory over the Lightning.
Brodeur would finish this night by making 33 saves while being named to the games second star of the game, while Lightning keeper Dan Ellis finished with 20 saves.
These two teams will meet again, but not before the Devils take four days off before heading down to Tampa Bay. New Jersey will look to repeat their success against the Lightning with a 7:30 p.m. Friday night face-off.