Pregame: Red Wings @ Lightning – Game 3

The Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of their Atlantic Division Semifinal matchup tonight.

The game is close to a must-win for the Red Wings, as they managed to steal away home-ice advantage from the second-seeded Lightning with a Game One win but can lose it right back with a loss in either of the next two games.

Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek, pulled after allowing four goals on 18 shots in two periods in Game Two, returns to the crease for the Red Wings. The Wings also get back forward Justin Abdelkader, who replaces Stephen Weiss in the lineup. Defenseman Brendan Smith swaps in for Alexey Marchenko on the blue line.

Stupid stat of the day: In his professional career, Petr Mrazek has never lost a series in which he won Game One and lost Game Two.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Fall to Lightning, Series Even at 1-1

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 5-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Lighting in Game Two of their Atlantic Division Semifinal matchup on Saturday.

The defense and goaltending that led Detroit to a win in Game One wasn’t there to save them in Game Two, leading to the series now tied at a game apiece.

Tyler Johnson opened the game’s scoring just 3:05 in on a Tampa Bay power play. Johnson picked up the rebound of a shot off the goal post in the circle to Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek‘s left and snapped it back into the net.

It was 2-0 at 7:56 of the second period when Alex Killorn beat Mrazek thanks to a fortunate bounce. Ryan Callahan attempted to pass the puck from the left wing through the high slot but Red Wings defender Alexey Marchenko got in the way. The puck bounced off Marchenko and fluttered right to Killorn, wide open at the edge of the crease. His initial shot went into the side of the net but he collected the puck and lifted it over a sprawling Mrazek.

Andrej Sustr was left wide open in the slot to take a pass from former Red Wing Valtteri Filppula and snap a shot past Mrazek with 5:12 left in the middle period for a 3-0 lead.

Johnson’s second of the afternoon made it 4-0 with 38 seconds left. Johnson broke in on Mrazek all alone after Nikita Kucherov knocked down Danny DeKeyser to turn a two-on-one into a breakaway, with Johnson faking out Mrazek in close.

Tomas Tatar scored Detroit’s only goal of the game at 5:49 of the third period, deflecting a Kyle Quincey shot past Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop from a low angle.

Filppula rounded out the game’s scoring with a power play with with 4:34 remaining. Racing down the left wing, Filppula fired a shot on Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard – who replaced Mrazek to start the third period – and snapped his own rebound into the back of the net.

Tampa Bay scored two power play goals on four chances after going scoreless on seven tries in Game One. Detroit didn’t score on any of their four attempts with the extra skater.

Mrazek finished with 14 saves on 18 shots in two period of play while Howard stopped 11 of the 12 chances he faced and Bishop stopped 23 of 24 shots.

Game Three will be on Thursday in Detroit.

Detroit head coach Mike Babcock announced after the game that Mrazek will start Game Three and that injured forward Justin Abdelkader is expected to return.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Lightning – Game 2

Having stolen away home ice advantage in the series with a 3-2 win in Game One on Thursday, the Red Wings have a chance to take control with a Game Two win over the Lightning.

They’ll need to do better than their 14-shot performance in the opening game, where 44 saves by Petr Mrazek kept the Red Wings alive.

Mrazek gets the start again for Detroit, as the Red Wings will roll the same lineup as they won with.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings have not won the first two games of a series since their 2011 sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Game time is 3:00 PM on NBC.

Red Wings Steal Game One from Lightning

Though badly outplayed and outshot, the Detroit Red Wings earned a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night, taking a 1-0 lead in their Atlantic Division Semifinal series.

Detroit rookie goalie Petr Mrazek made 44 saves on 46 shots to deliver the Red Wings the victory. Lightning netminder Ben Bishop made just 11 saves on 14 Detroit chances.

Luke Glendening scored the eventual game-winner at 5:50 of the third period. While shorthanded, Glendening chipped the puck past Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman and raced down the right wing to catch up with it. Former Red Wing Valtteri Filppula caught up with him but Glendening held up and spun to his backhand, flinging a shot between Bishop’s pads to make it 3-1.

Just 2:36 later, the Lightning would pull back to within one, as Nikita Nesterov snapped a shot from the high slot past Mrazek through traffic.

Tampa Bay would be unable to even things up despite controlling play for the remainder of the game.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring at 9:03 of the first period, tipping a Kyle Quincey chance from the blueline past Bishop.

With 5:29 remaining in the opening frame, Brian Boyle tied things up on a shorthanded breakaway after blocking an attempted pass by Marek Zidlicky.

Datsyuk would strike again just eight seconds into the second period, snapping a shot over Bishop’s shoulder from the slot off a feed from Darren Helm while on the power play.

Datsyuk’s second was the only power play goal of the night. Detroit had three chances with the man-advantage to Tampa Bay’s seven.

The two teams will meet Saturday afternoon for Game Two of the series.

Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader (hand) was unable to play.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Lightning – Game 1

The Red Wings open up their their first-round matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight and neither team will be entirely healthy.

Detroit is missing forward Justin Abdelkader, still nursing a sore hand, while Tampa Bay defenseman Jason Garrison is out. The Red Wings are also without forwards Erik Cole and Johan Franzen, who are both out for the season.

Rookie goalie Petr Mrazek gets the nod for the Red Wings. Tampa starter Ben Bishop will also be making his first career playoff appearance, as he was injured for their playoff run last season.

Mrazek is joined by Landon Ferraro and Alexey Marchenko in making his first NHL playoff appearance. Daniel Cleary and Teemu Pulkkinen are the healthy scratches up front, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith are out on the blueline, and Jonas Gustavsson is the third goalie.

SSOTD: The Red Wings haven’t won in Tampa since February 17, 2011.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Red Wings to Open Playoffs in Tampa on Thursday

The National Hockey League released its schedule for the 2015 Division Semifinals early Sunday morning, revealing that the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning will open their playoff matchup on Thursday, April 16.

As the Atlantic Division’s second seed, the Lightning will host the third-seeded Red Wings to open the series.

The complete schedule, pending determination of the start times for Games Five, Six, and Seven (if necessary), is as follows:

The Red Wings’ 2015 Atlantic Division Semifinals Schedule
Date Opponent Location Outcome Series
April 16, 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Away 7:30 PM; CNBC N/A
April 18, 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Away 3:00 PM; NBC N/A
April 21, 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Home 7:00 PM; NBCSN N/A
April 23, 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Home 7:00 PM; NBCSN N/A
April 25, 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Away TBD N/A
April 27, 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Home TBD N/A
April 29, 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Away TBD N/A

Wings Blank ‘Canes, Clinch Third in Atlantic

The Detroit Red Wings closed out their regular season schedule with a 2-0 shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night, earning the Atlantic Division’s third seed for the coming playoffs.

Goalie Petr Mrazek stopped at 35 shots he faced in leading the Red Wings to victory.

Combined with the Montreal Canadiens’ defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit’s win locked the Red Wings into a first-round matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Just 48 seconds into the game, Landon Ferraro scored what would be the game-winner, his first career NHL goal. Ferraro attempted a shot from low on the left wing boards but it was blocked. He picked up his own rebound and carried it behind the net, beating Carolina netminder Cam Ward on a wraparound chance.

Joakim Andersson would score the game’s only other goal on an empty-net tally.

Ward finished the night with 27 saves on 28 shots against.

The Hurricanes had two power play chances to the Red Wings’ one.

Detroit’s series with Tampa Bay is expected to start on Thursday… Detroit regulars Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Niklas Kronwall were all rested for the game… Defenseman Brendan Smith was benched after playing the puck with his glove from the bench on Thursday in Montreal… Tomas Jurco returned to the Detroit lineup… With Detroit’s usual captains out, Daniel Cleary, Jonathan Ericsson, and Darren Helm all wore alternate captains’ As… Justin Abdelkader remained out due to injury… Defenseman Alexey Marchenko was called up to play and will stay with the team for Game One.

Red Wings Fall to Habs in Overtime, Clinch Playoff Spot

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night but the standings point gained in the loss was enough to clinch a playoff spot.

Minutes after the Canadiens finished off the Red Wings, the Florida Panthers completed a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins, ensuring that the Bruins would be unable to pass Detroit in the standings and putting the Red Wings in the postseason for the 24th consecutive campaign.

Lars Eller gave Montreal the victory at 1:21 of overtime when his shot from the left wing was seemingly deflected by the stick of Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey and flew past goaltender Jimmy Howard.

The Canadiens had forced overtime with a five-on-three goal with 8:21 remaining in regulation. Tomas Plekanec threw a low-angle shot from the right wing towards Howard and it slipped through, tying the game at three goals apiece.

Tomas Tatar had opened the game’s scoring with 9:41 left in the first period. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the Montreal zone down the right side and Tatar raced down the left side, wide open off a line change. Datsyuk got him the puck for a quick snap past Montreal goalie Carey Price.

Andrei Markov tied things up with 2:24 left in the opening period, blasting a shot from the blue line through traffic and past Howard for a 1-1 game.

Montreal made it 2-1 with 6:24 of the second period when defenseman Jeff Petry jumped up to join the rush and take a feed from Torrey Mitchell in the slot, snapping a shot past Howard.

Datsyuk responded just 1:43 later, carrying the puck through the slot and faking around Alexei Emelin before whipping the puck past Price.

Detroit regained the lead at 3:34 of the final frame when Darren Helm outraced P.K. Subban on a shorthanded breakaway and beat Price to make it 3-2.

Price finished the night with 24 saves on 27 shots while Howard made 22 stops on 26 chances.

Plekanec’s goal was the only power play tally of the game. Montreal had four tries with the extra attacker to Detroit’s five.

The Red Wings close out their season on Saturday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Canadiens – 4/9

The Red Wings begin their final road trip of the regular season tonight as they visit the Montreal Canadiens.

Detroit can clinch a playoff spot with a win, whether in regulation or overtime. Montreal, meanwhile, can claim the Atlantic Division with a win over the Red Wings combined with a loss by the Tampa Bay Lightning or a point against the Red Wings while the Lightning lose in regulation. So a New Jersey win over the Lightning in regulation and a Detroit overtime/shootout win over the Canadiens gets both teams what they want.

A Detroit loss combined with an Ottawa Senators loss also gets the Red Wings into the playoffs. If the Red Wings earn a point, and either the Senators lose or the Boston Bruins lose in regulation, Detroit is in the playoffs.

In short, the Red Wings control their destiny if they can get a win against a team that they’ve only scored on twice all season.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in net for the Red Wings opposite Carey Price for the Canadiens.

Detroit will remain without Justin Abdelkader and Tomas Jurco, though Pavel Datsyuk will play despite missing the morning skate.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings have been outscored by the Canadiens by a combined score of 26-11 all-time in regular season games in Montreal in April. Detroit is winless in those games.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.