Red Wings – Lightning Postgame Notes

Tweeted some of this already but figured I’d post here too.

Overheard someone in the concourse at St. Pete Times Forum say that the game was closer than the score showed. That’s BS, though, aside from a five-minute stretch in the second period, the Red Wings dominated.

There was a guy behind me who kept yelling “Come on, Vinny!” to Vincent Lecavalier. A sign of how lopsided the game was is Lecavalier. He led the Lightning with six shots but got absolutely nothing and finished the night a -2.

The Wings did a fantastic job of limiting Tampa’s chances, even if they allowed 40 shots against. There weren’t a lot of times the Lightning really threatened (again, ignoring the five minutes in the second period).

Jimmy Howard came through with a strong performance on the chances that the team in front of him did allow. He made some big stops in the first period and looks more confident than he did during the Wings’ mini-slump a couple weeks ago.

In all, it was a shutdown effort against a team that wanted to use Detroit as a measuring stick. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Datsyuk, Cleary Lead Red Wings in Rout of Lightning

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and Danny Cleary factored into two more goals, helping to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night.

Much was made of the matchup, as it was the first between the two teams since Steve Yzerman left the Red Wings organization to become general manager of the Lightning.

Cleary opened the game’s scoring on a Detroit power play 6:40 into the game. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that Cleary tipped at the top of the crease, past goalie Dwayne Roloson.

Datsyuk made it 2-0 with 5:03 left in the period, pouncing on a rebound and swatting it past a sprawling Roloson on the backhand.

The Lighting would briefly rally in the second period, scoring twice in 2:47 to tie the game.

With 8:09 left in the period, Victor Hedman wristed a shot from just inside the blue line that deflected past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to get Tampa Bay on the board.

With 5:22 left, Steve Downie snapped a loose puck past Howard to make it 2-2.

The Red Wings regained control 1:56 later, when a Niklas Kronwall shot deflected off of Cleary’s skate and into the net for a power play goal.

Justin Abdelkader put a rebound chance past Roloson from the edge of the crease with 2:00 remaining to restore the two-goal lead.

Datsyuk’s second of the night came with 8:21 left in the third period. He was left uncovered to race into the Tampa zone and take a feed from Jiri Hudler before snapping a shot past Roloson.

Darren Helm wrapped up the game’s scoring with 1:51 left in the game, turning a turnover at the Lightning blue line into a breakaway goal.

Detroit’s power play goals gave them two on three tries with the extra attacker. Tampa Bay went scoreless on five chances with the man-advantage.

Howard stopped 38 of the 40 shots he faced on the night. Roloson made 25 saves on 31 shots.

The Red Wings continue their Florida road trip on Friday night as they visit the Panthers.

Brad Stuart returned to the Detroit lineup after missing 15 games with a broken jaw… Ruslan Salei was given the night off to spend more time with his California-based family. He will return to the lineup against the Panthers.

Stuart to Return as Red Wings Visit Lighning

Brad Stuart will return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup on Thursday as the team visits the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Stuart has missed 15 games since suffering a broken jaw on a hit from Tom Kostopolous in Detroit’s 5-4 win over the Calgary Flames on January 7.

The Wings are coming off of a sweep of the Boston Bruins in their home-and-home series last weekend. Thursday’s matchup in Tampa is the first game of a two-day road trip through Florida, with a visit to the Panthers on the schedule for Friday night.

The Lightning are coming off a shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

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