NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Jaromir Jagr became the NHL’s leader in game-winning goals, scoring on a second-period breakaway to give the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.
The 684th goal of Jagr’s 20-year NHL career, gave him 119 game-winners, putting him one ahead of Hall of Famer Phil Esposito.
Adam Henrique also scored and Martin Brodeur made 16 saves as the Devils won consecutive games for the first time this season and ended Tampa Bay’s three-game winning streak.
Steven Stamkos, who had three goals and four assists last week, scored a power-play goal for Tampa Bay, which had won 5 of 6 in posting the best record in the Eastern Conference.
New Jersey, which lost its first seven games of the season, rallied late to beat Boston on Saturday for its second win.
Jagr’s third goal of the season came midway through the period when he stripped Martin St. Louis at the Devils’ blue line and broke in alone on Ben Bishop, easily the deking the goaltender and scoring into the net.
Brodeur preserved the win with a great reaction stop in front on Valtteri Filppula with about five minutes to play.
The Devils dominated the opening 35 minutes, jumping to a 2-0 lead when Henrique and Jagr turned Lightning mistakes into goals against a defenseless Bishop, who lost for just the second time this season.
Tampa Bay, which had four shots in the first period and seven until late in the second, finally woke up after a penalty in front of the net by Henrique put it on a power play. Stamkos swatted in his own rebound while falling to the ice to cut the deficit to 2-1 at 15:23. It was his ninth goal of the season.
Henrique had given the Devils the lead on another Lightning power play. He knocked down a pass that defenseman Matthew Carle tried to send from left point to the corner and it set up an odd-man rush.
Henrique carried the puck into the Tampa Bay zone and then played a give-and-go with Patrik Elias on cross-ice passes, beating Bishop before he could get back into position at 1:36 of the second.
Jagr doubled the lead less than nine minutes later.
While Brodeur didn’t face many shots in the opening two periods, he had to make several big saves. He made a point-blank save on Alex Killorn seconds before Henrique was called for his penalty and stopped Carle in close after Stamkos scored.
Brodeur also stopped Tyler Johnson on a first-period breakaway and got a little help from the net, when a B.J. Crombeen shot caromed off the iron.
NOTES: Elias appeared in his 1,100 NHL game. … Lightning D Eric Brewer played in his 900th. … Brodeur made his second straight start with Cory Schneider out with a lower back injury. … Tampa Bay has scored power-play goals in four straight games. … Henrique’s short-handed goal was the Devils’ second of the season. … The loss also snapped the Lightning’s three-game road winning streak, its longest since 2007-08.