Lightning beat Devils 4-1 to open 2-game set in New Jersey

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy makes a save in front of New Jersey Devils center Michael McLeod (20) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Brandon Hagel had a goal and two assists, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning scored the last four goals in a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Anthony Cirelli, Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov also scored for Tampa Bay in the opener of two-game set. The teams will meet again in New Jersey on Thursday night, and face off Sunday night in Florida.

Damon Severson opened the scoring for the Devils at 5:55 of the first period. Ryan Graves’ apparent goal midway through the first was wiped out because of goalie interference after a coach’s challenge.

Cirelli tied it on a backhander with 3:43 left in the first. Hagel gave Tampa Bay the lead midway through the second with his 24th goal of the season.

Alex Killorn added his 21st goal, and Nikita Kucherov scored his 27th right before the second-period horn sounded. Tampa Bay scored its three goals in the second on just seven shots,

Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves for New Jersey.

NOTES: Forward Curtis Lazar made his Devils debut after he was acquired at trade deadline from the Vancouver Canucks. He replaced Nathan Bastion (upper-body injury). … Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos (leg injury) remains day-to-day.