Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 12/12/11
Neither the New Jersey Devils nor the Tampa Bay Lightning excel on the power play, but two goals with the man advantage proved to be the difference the last time these teams met. Both teams are trying to shake off recent rough stretches heading into their rematch Monday night at the St. Pete Times Forum. Tampa Bay (12-15-2) ranks 24th on the power play at 14.7 percent and New Jersey (14-13-1) is 26th at 12.6 percent. The Lightning ranked sixth in the league at 20.5 percent in 2010-11, when they reached the Eastern Conference finals. "Because our power play has been really not good this year, and that's the difference," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "That's the difference from last year. Power play was winning us games, and now it's not." The Devils were also lamenting their power play after going 0 for 3 in Saturday's 2-1 home loss to Montreal. "There's different parts of our game where we don't play with that confidence," coach Pete DeBoer said. "That's one of them." Tampa Bay is mired in a 1-6-0 slump while New Jersey is 2-5-0 in its last seven. New Jersey won 4-2 at Tampa Bay on Nov. 19, going 2 for 8 on the power play as Patrik Elias and David Clarkson each tallied. That contest marks one of three occasions in which the Devils have scored two power-play goals, with the other two coming against Toronto. The Lightning went 0 for 6 with the man advantage in that contest, as Martin Brodeur made 21 saves. The Devils own the league's top penalty-kill unit at 93.4 percent. It appears that Brodeur will start Tuesday at Florida, with Johan Hedberg getting the call Monday. Hedberg is 1-7-1 with a 3.76 GAA in nine career starts at Tampa Bay. Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon is 1-1-1 with a 1.58 GAA in three career starts against the Devils while Dwayne Roloson fell to 3-8-1 with a 2.93 GAA in 12 starts versus New Jersey after last month's loss. The Devils have won seven of their last eight at the St. Pete Times Forum. Zach Parise has amassed seven points in his last six road games in the series. Parise, however, failed to convert a late penalty shot Saturday against the Canadiens that could have sent that contest to overtime. "We had other opportunities at different points of the game to gain control and didn't do it," DeBoer said. "That's what happens when you don't." Ilya Kovalchuk's six-game point streak ended against Montreal. Kovalchuk had seven points during his run, and also has seven in his last five games versus the Lightning. Tampa Bay leading scorer Steven Stamkos is trying to avoid going three straight games without a point for the first time this season. Boucher wants a better effort from his team since he believes sloppy play has led to its poor stretch. "It all comes down to those turnovers that kill us," Boucher said. "Against the Rangers (last Thursday), we didn't do that. We just didn't give the opponent those turnovers and we won the game in a shootout."
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