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Brian Gionta scores twice to lead New Jersey past Tampa Bay 3-2

TAMPA, Fla. - Martin Brodeur came up big again, and got a little lucky, too.

Brodeur made 34 saves, and Brian Gionta scored twice during New Jersey's three-goal second period to lead the Devils past the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Saturday night.

David Clarkson also scored for the Devils, who went 4-0 on a four-game road trip. Brodeur allowed five goals during the stretch.

"He played unbelievable this whole road trip," Devils defenceman Colin White said of Brodeur. "Save after save. They had a lot of chances, good quality chances."

Brodeur stood tall in the third, when the Devils were outshot 14-1. He also benefited from a video review with 4:49 left that showed a puck that trickled through his pads didn't cross the goal-line.

"I saw it (didn't)," Brodeur said. "You never know when it's in the hands of other people what they're going to see."

The victory also lifted New Jersey above .500 for the first time this season at 11-10-2.

"It means we're doing better," Brodeur said. "Every team in sports, you want to be over .500. So now we're there and hopefully we'll never look back."

New Jersey left wing Patrik Elias missed his second straight game with flulike symptoms.

Tampa Bay got goals from Vincent Lecavalier and Jason Ward. The Lightning have dropped four in a row after a five-game winning streak.

"I have full confidence in the team," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "We need to find a way to finally get some points there. We've just got to continue going about our business and certainly not get down about anything."

Gionta and Clarkson scored 42 seconds apart in the second to give New Jersey a 3-1 lead. After Gionta scored from the left circle at 12:19, Clarkson extended the lead to two goals during a two-on-one at 13:01.

Gionta's power-play goal earlier in the period, at 4:49, had tied it at 1. Jamie Langenbrunner had an assist on the goal, giving him six in the last three games.

Lecavalier put the Lightning ahead 1-0 from the high slot 35 seconds into the second period. Seven of his 16 goals this season have come in the past six games.

Ward cut Tampa Bay's deficit to 3-2 with his first goal in 14 games, coming on the power play at 36 seconds of the third.

Brodeur, one of two NHL goalies with 500 or more wins, stopped 14 of 15 shots by the Lightning during the second. The victory was the 503rd of Brodeur, with only Patrick Roy (551) ahead of him on the all-time list.

Tampa Bay was outplayed for most of a scoreless first period and easily could have been down several goals without the strong play of Johan Holmqvist. The Lightning goalie stopped 13 shots, including in-close chances by Clarkson and Gionta in the opening minute.

Holmqvist finished with 18 saves.

Notes: Former Devils coach Pat Burns, who stepped down from his coaching position because of cancer in 2005, is scouting for New Jersey. The Florida resident, a regular at Tampa Bay home games this season, sat in the press box with New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello. ... Tampa Bay D Filip Kuba didn't play due to an abdominal injury. ... Lightning C Ryan Craig left in the first with a left knee injury. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI. ... Steve Williamson, of Orlando, Fla., completed his trip of visiting all 30 NHL arenas in 30 days. ... After the game, Tampa Bay sent D Dan Jancevski to Norfolk of the AHL. He played in two games after being called up from the minors Nov. 20.


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