Pregame: Red Wings @ Lightning – Game 1

Though they may not deserve it, the Red Wings open their 25th consecutive trip to the playoffs in Tampa tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

These two teams met in the opening round last year, with Tampa Bay rallying from down 3-2 in the series to win in seven games, but there are some differences this year.

For the Red Wings, Jimmy Howard has reclaimed the starting role in goal. Forward Brad Richards – who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs with the Lightning during their Stanley Cup run in 2004 – joined Detroit in the offseason. Mike Green is in on the blueline with Marek Zidlicky having moved on to the New York Islanders. Landon Ferraro is now in Boston. Rookies Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou will be making their playoff debuts.

For the Lightning, a powerhouse team has been crippled by injuries. Forward Steven Stamkos is likely to miss the entirety of the playoffs with blood clots. Anton Stralman is out on the blue line. Tyler Johnson – who the Red Wings couldn’t contain last year – is questionable for Game One. Victor Hedman is returning from injury.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are a perfect split 17-17 all-time in Game One of the playoffs coming off a loss in their last game of the regular season.

As previously mentioned, Jimmy Howard gets the start for the Red Wings opposite Ben Bishop of the Lightning. Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen, and Brendan Smith will be healthy scratches for Detroit.

Game time is 7:00 on FSD and NBCSN.

Red Wings Win Second Consecutive Game with 2-1 Victory over Lightning

With 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, the Detroit Red Wings have consecutive victories for the first time since winning three games in a row to start the season.

Detroit rookie Dylan Larkin‘s early third period marker stood up as the game-winner, the second of his career. Breaking down the right wing, Larkin dropped the puck to Justin Abdelkader as he gained the Tampa Bay zone and immediately got it back, then drove towards the net and fired a shot that deflected off the stick of defenseman Braydon Coburn and under goalie Ben Bishop‘s elbow.

After a scoreless first period, Riley Sheahan had opened the game’s scoring for the Red Wings at 2:02 of the second. Gaining the Lightning zone with speed, Sheahan split the defense and snapped a shot from the high slot past Bishop for the 1-0 lead.

Tampa Bay would tie things up while skating on a five-on-three with 4:02 left in the middle period. Steven Stamkos‘ initial shot rang off the post and Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard slid into position to block Tyler Johnson‘s rebound chance, but the puck went right to Nikita Kucherov to bang into the open side of the net to make it 1-1.

The Lightning finished the night one-for-four on the power play while the Red Wings went scoreless on three tries with the extra man.

Howard made 29 saves on 30 shots. Bishop stopped 27 of the 29 chances he faced.

The Red Wings will look to make it three in a row on Friday when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Red Wings Down Lightning in Playoff Rematch

Almost six months after the Lightning bounced the Red Wings from the playoffs, Detroit defeated Tampa Bay, 3-1, in their first meeting of the 2015-16 season.

After a scoreless first period, Gustav Nyquist got the Red Wings on the board with 2:08 left in the middle frame. Twelve seconds into a power play, Nyquist snapped a shot from the left faceoff dot over the shoulder of Lightning netminder Ben Bishop.

Henrik Zetterberg made it 2-0 at 8:25 of the third period. Dylan Larkin fed Zetterberg in the high slot for a shot through a screen by Justin Abdelkader and past Bishop to extend Detroit’s lead.

Tampa Bay cut the lead back to a single goal with 8:57 left in regulation. A set play off an offensive-zone faceoff win got the puck to Ryan Callahan at the top of the left circle to snap a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, the first goal against Howard all season.

Kyle Quincey added an empty net goal to round out the game’s scoring and end Tampa’s comeback hopes.

Each team finished the night with three power play chances. Detroit scored on one of theirs while Tampa Bay went without a goal.

Howard made 20 saves on 21 shots. Bishop made 21 saves on 23 shots faced.

The Red Wings look to make it four wins in a row to start the season on Friday when they host the Carolina Hurricanes.


Johan Franzen was a late scratch for the Red Wings. He was replaced in the lineup by Landon Ferraro, who was going to be out of the lineup to make room for Tomas Jurco‘s first appearance of the season.

Red Wings Eliminated in Game Seven Loss to Lightning

The Red Wings beat the NHL’s best home team twice on their own ice but couldn’t make it a third time in four tries, as the Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated Detroit from the playoffs with a 2-0 win in Game Seven of their Atlantic Division Semifinal.

Tampa Bay netminder Ben Bishop stopped 31 shots to earn the shutout, the first of his playoff career.

After two scoreless period, trade deadline acquisition Braydon Coburn got the Lightning on the board at 3:58 of the third. With the Red Wings pinned down low, the puck came out to Coburn in the left faceoff circle for a fluttering shot past Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek.

Detroit would be unable to tie it, with Anton Stralman adding an empty-net goal with 1:18 remaining.

Mrazek finished the night with 15 saves on 16 shots against.

The Red Wings were scoreless on three power play chances while the Lightning were held off the board on their four.


Detroit was without defensemen Niklas Kronwall (suspension) and Marek Zidlicky (concussion)… Petr Mrazek, Tomas Jurco, and Alexey Marchenko are now eligible to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins in their Calder Cup run.

Red Wings Fall to Lightning, Series to Go to Seven

The Detroit Red Wings had their chance to finish off the Lightning at home and couldn’t do it, as Tampa Bay earned a 5-2 win in Game Six to force a Game Seven back in Tampa.

It is the second first-round series of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs to reach a deciding seventh game, as the Washington Capitals finished off the New York Islanders at home on Monday night.

Tyler Johnson opened the game’s scoring just 3:47 into the game. Victor Hedman sent a long pass from his own goal line to Nikita Kucherov in the neutral zone, who dished it off to Johnson streaking into the Detroit end. Johnson drove in undefended on Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek and lifted a shot over him for a 1-0 lead.

With 8:50 remaining, Jason Garrison made it 2-0, jumping up to turn a three-on-three rush into an odd-man opportunity and snapping a shot from the high slot past Mrazek.

Johnson struck again at 9:09 of the second period, beating Mrazek on a shot from the slot off a long pass from Ondrej Palat on a bad Detroit line change.

The Red Wings got on the board with 7:34 remaining in the middle period as Tomas Tatar snapped a shot from the left faceoff circle past Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop for a power play goal.

Tatar pulled Detroit to within a goal just 1:39 into the third, controlling the puck in front of the net until Bishop opened up his five-hole and then sliding it into the net.

Alex Killorn ended Detroit’s comeback hopes with 5:09 remaining, taking advantage of a Marek Zidlicky turnover at the Red Wings’ blueline to break in on Mrazek and beat him high.

Cedric Paquette added an empty net goal to finish off the scoring.

Game Seven will be on Wednesday at 7:30 PM.

Red Wings One Win From Advancing After Blanking Bolts

For the second time in three games, the Detroit Red Wings held the Tampa Bay Lightning scoreless, with a 4-0 win in Game Five of their Atlantic Division semifinal series.

The win gives the Red Wings a 3-2 lead as the series shifts back to Detroit for Game Six.

Detroit rookie netminder Petr Mrazek stopped all 28 shots he faced for his second shutout of the series. Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop made 26 stops on 29 shots at the other end of the ice.

The Red Wings opened the scoring with just 23 seconds remaining in the first period. On a power play, Niklas Kronwall fed Riley Sheahan all alone in the left faceoff circle for a one-timer past Bishop and a 1-0 lead.

Drew Miller made it 2-0 with 4:14 left in the second period. Luke Glendening carried the puck into the Lightning zone down the right wing and fired a shot the Bishop kicked aside. Miller was left alone breaking to the net, though, and banged home the rebound.

Another power play goal extended Detroit’s lead with 4:13 left in the third period. From the high slot, Pavel Datsyuk fired a shot through traffic and past a Darren Helm screen, finding the back of the net.

Danny DeKeyser added an empty net goal to round out the scoring.

The Red Wings converted on two of their four power plays. Tampa Bay did not score on three tries with the man-advantage.

Game Six between the two teams will be Monday at 7:00 PM.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Lightning – Game 5

After dropping a 3-2 overtime decision in which they gave up two late goals to tie the game, the Red Wings are back at it tonight, visiting the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Five of their Atlantic Division Semifinal showdown.

The series sits tied, 2-2, with each team having won and lost at home, but the Lightning have regained home-ice advantage and were the best home team in the league. The Red Wings will have to steal another in Tampa and they’ll face elimination back home on Monday if it’s not tonight.

Detroit will ice the same lineup as they used in both Games Three and Four. Luke Glendening, who missed the end of Game Four with a hand injury, will play. If he is unable to take faceoffs, Joakim Andersson will switch places with Landon Ferraro to center Glendening’s line.

Petr Mrazek gets the start in the Detroit goal against Tampa’s Ben Bishop.

Stupid stat of the day: Every single time the Red Wings have lost Game Four at home in overtime to tie a series, 2-2, they’ve also lost Game Five. They’ve then gone on to win Games Six and Seven to win the series.

Game time is 6:00 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Collapse Late, Lightning Rally to Tie Series

With six minutes remaining in regulation in Thursday’s Game Four between the Red Wings and the Lightning, Detroit seemed poised to take a 3-1 series lead. Instead, Tampa Bay scored two quick goals to force overtime and added the game-winner early in the extra period, tying the series at two games apiece.

Momentum shifted when Detroit forward Luke Glendening, who had been opposing Tyler Johnson‘s line from Tampa Bay, left the game with a hand injury. With Glendening off, Johnson’s line scored all three goals.

Johnson got the Lightning on the board with 5:26 remaining, racing past Darren Helm down the left wing and driving to the net, lifting a shot over the shoulder of Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek.

Just 1:17 later it was 2-2 when Ondrej Palat was left alone to drive to the front of the net and take a pass from Johnson, knocking the puck past Mrazek on a give-and-go play.

Johnson won the game for Tampa Bay at 2:25 of the overtime period. On a three-on-one, Victor Hedman sent a crossing pass to Johnson all alone on the left wing for a low-angle shot into the net.

Gustav Nyquist had opened the game’s scoring for Detroit at 5:42 of the second period. Nyquist forced a turnover in the Lightning end that was picked up by Justin Abdelkader. Abdelkader passed it on to Henrik Zetterberg to the left of goalie Ben Bishop. With Bishop focusing on Zetterberg, Nyquist got to the back door and took a pass before banging the puck home.

A fluke goal with 5:36 left in the period made it 2-0 for Detroit. Joakim Andersson threw a heavy shot on Bishop from the high slot and Bishop knocked it into the air, then attempted to swat it away with his stick. Instead the puck went back towards the goal, off the post and just barely across the goal line.

Bishop finished the night with 22 saves on 24 shots while Mrazek stopped 26 of 29 chances.

Neither team had a power play goal in four tries with the man-advantage.

Game Five is scheduled for 6:00 PM on Saturday in Tampa.

Mrazek Blanks Bolts, Red Wings Take 2-1 Series Lead

One game after being pulled for allowing four goals on 18 shots, Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek rebounded, leading the Red Wings to a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of their Atlantic Division Semifinal matchup.

Mrazek made 22 saves to earn the win, giving the Red Wings a 2-1 lead in the series.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring 8:46 into the first period. Tomas Tatar let loose with a blast from the point that bounced off Datsyuk’s leg in the slot and past Lightning netminder Ben Bishop.

After a scoreless second period, the Red Wings made it 2-0 at 6:42 of the second period. On a Detroit power play, Justin Abdelkader fed Riley Sheahan at the front of the net. Sheahan drove across the crease, outwaiting Bishop before putting a shot past him.

Luke Glendening added an empty net goal with 49 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.

Bishop finished the night with 18 saves on 20 shots.

Detroit went one-for-four on the power play while the Lightning were scoreless on six attempts with the man-advantage.

The two teams will meet in Game Four in Detroit on Thursday.


Abdelkader made his first appearance of the series after missing the first two games with a hand injury… Brendan Smith swapped in on the blue line for Alexey Marchenko.

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.