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If you thought the Tampa Bay Lightning were going to breeze through the New Jersey Devils in this best-of-7 series, you were completely wrong. The Devils made some lineup changes heading into Game 3 but inserting Cory Schneider in net for Keith Kinkaid, Marcus Johansson for Michael Grabner, and Drew Stafford for Mirco Muller. Those moves paid off, but Stefan Noesen’s game-winning goal with 7:05 remaining in regulation lifted the Devils to a 5-2 Game 3 victory over the Lightning. The Lightning still lead this series 2-1.
Noesen’s game-winning goal was a one-timer and it was set up on a beautiful pass from Taylor Hall. Hall had a three-point game (one goal two assists). Alex Killorn scored on a power-play goal 42 seconds into the second-period for Tampa Bay. Taylor Hall tied the game at one later in the second for New Jersey.
Steven Stamkos scored a power-play goal just 38 seconds into the third-period for the Lightning. Will Butcher tied the game later in the third on a 5-on-3 power play for the Devils.
With New Jersey leading 3-2 late, they scored empty-net goals by Blake Coleman (short handed) and Ben Lovejoy. Near the end of the game, it got feisty between some Tampa Bay players and New Jersey players, especially Brian Boyle (NJ) and Mikhail Sergachev (TB). They were barking at one another and it definitely set the stage for Game 4.
New Jersey seems to be under Tampa Bay’s skin at the moment and it might be another emotional one in Game 4. Cory Schneider made 34 saves for the Devils. He played well in his first game back, but he suffered some lower body pain during the third-period and Schneider played through it. Let’s see what his status will be for Game 4 and if it was anything serious. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves for the Lightning. Game 4 will be on Wednesday Night in New Jersey.