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Devils defeat Lightning despite late Stamkos strikes

(Reuters) - Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos scored two late goals to put the heat on New Jersey in the final period but the Devils held on to claim a 5-4 win over the Lightning on Monday.

New Jersey went 2-0 up in the first through Petr Sykora and Dainius Zubrus before Steve Downie and Blair Jones tied the game in the final few minutes of the period.

The Devils dominated the second and extended their lead to 5-2 on goals from Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Adam Henrique.

There would be no easy cruise through the third though as Stamkos pulled a goal back midway through the period then grabbed his 18th of the season in the final minute to make New Jersey (15-13-1) sweat.

Both teams are struggling in the Eastern Conference, with New Jersey coming into the game losers of five of their last seven, while the Lightning (12-16-2) fell to their seventh loss in eight games.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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