Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Jesper Bratt's hat trick lifts Devils over Lightning

Field Level Media
20 Mar 2023, 12:19 GMT+10

Jesper Bratt notched his first career hat trick, and Nico Hischier netted the game-winner in a three-goal second period in the New Jersey Devils' 5-2 win over the host Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.

The Devils (45-18-7, 97 points) trailed 2-0 in the second period but got three goals from the two forwards in less than six minutes to win for the first time in four games (1-2-1).

They also salvaged one game in the season series with the Lightning (1-1-1).

Nolan Foote added an insurance marker in the third for a two-goal lead before Bratt scored into an empty net with 12 seconds left. Dougie Hamilton had two assists.

Bratt and Hischier, who added an assist, each reached 30 goals in the win as New Jersey improved its stellar road record to 26-5-4. Vitek Vanecek (29-8-3) stopped 22 of 24 shots.

New Jersey held Tampa Bay's third-ranked power play scoreless on four attempts.

For the Lightning (42-23-6, 90 points), Nikita Kucherov reached 100 points with a goal, and Alex Killorn scored. Andrei Vasilevskiy (31-18-4) made 34 saves.

Shortly after Tampa Bay's first power play expired in the opening period, New Jersey attempted a clearing pass to change the line, but the feed went right to Kucherov.

The right winger set up a short give-and-go with Steven Stamkos before Kucherov found the right corner of the net at 3:26 for his 28th goal to reach the century mark in points.

During a New Jersey line change in the second period, Killorn deked his way around sliding defenseman Damon Severson and whipped home his 22nd tally at 6:30.

However, the Devils changed momentum and grabbed their first lead during a three-goal offensive outburst over 5:23.

Just nine seconds after Killorn's marker, Bratt hustled in from the right side, sliced through the slot and found the net.

The top-line right winger added a second one less than three minutes later on a long-distance goal for the tie.

In what was almost an identical replica of Bratt's first goal, Hischier swooped in and scored at 12:02 for a 3-2 New Jersey lead.

At 9:51 of the third, Foote -- a 2019 Lightning late first-round draft pick -- launched his first goal this season for a 4-2 lead.

--Field Level Media

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