Brendan Shanahan, despite his injured thumb, scored two goals to lead the Red Wings past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3 in overtime.
The Red Wings came on strong in the first period, picking up right where they left off before the Olympic break. After a few defensive lapses, they pulled together and shelled Tampa Bay goaltender Kevin Weekes, putting sixteen shots on net on the first as opposed to the Lightning’s six. Weekes, however, was strong and steady, and the Red Wings couldn’t put the puck past him until they had a power play chance.
Juha Ylonen was sent to the box for tripping with only 4:23 left in the period. The After Tampa Bay’s first clearing attempt, Nick Lidstrom shot the puck deep into the zone, and it bounced off the back boards to Weekes. Weekes let the puck slip away and fell down, and Sergei Fedorov flipped it high into the net.
Tampa Bay scored only thirty seconds into the second period when Vaclav Prospal stuffed a rebound from Ben Clymer’s shot past Dominik Hasek, and the momentum from that equalizing goal inspired them to increase their offensive play considerably. Hasek recovered after the first goal, and the Red Wings were beginning to take back control, when the penalties started.
For over nine minutes, the Red Wings and Lightning were on continuous, alternating, overlapping penalty kills, beginning when Mathieu Dandenault was called for slashing at 16:04. Even a penalty shot by Dan Boyle was not able to score against Hasek. The penalty parade finally ended when Dave Andreychuk was able to score on a rebound at 6:58, putting the Lightning up by one.
Brendan Shanahan brought the Red Wings back in with another power play goal with 3:42 left in the period. Luc Robitaille brought the puck deep into the Lightning’s zone and passed directly across the goal crease. Shanahan flipped it high into the net.
The Lightning started off strong in the third period as well. At one point, a rebounded puck got past Hasek, who had come out of the net to stop the first shot. The rebound was part of the way across the goal line, but Jiri Fischer kicked it out just before it would have been a goal for Tampa Bay.
Jimmie Olvestad scored for the Lightning midway through the period. Fedorov tried to pass the puck from behind the Red Wings’ net, but Olvestad intercepted the pass and sent the puck past Hasek.
The Wings came back less than two minutes later. Tomas Holmstrom’s shot rebounded to Freddy Olausson, who passed across to Robitaille. “Lucky Luc” slid the puck past Weekes to score the equalizing goal.
Tampa Bay continued their pressure through the rest of the period and into the overtime, but the Red Wings took back control when it was important. Chris Chelios shot the puck from the blue line, and it bounced off the back boards to Shanahan in the right corner. Shanahan fired the puck from the goal line, and it banked off Weekes and into the net with 2:05 left in the overtime.
Steve Yzerman’s knee became sore during the Olympics, and he is expected to be out of the lineup for two to three weeks. Sean Avery will be playing center until Yzerman returns. Pavel Datsyuk sat out tonight’s game with the flu. The coaching staff plans to recall Jason Williams from Cincinnati to play until Datsyuk is feeling better.