Postgame: Red Wings @ Lightning – Game 1

I don’t know. I see people saying the Red Wings’ 3-2 loss to the Lightning in Game One was close and hard fought but I’m not feeling it.

Sure, the score was close and there were battles. Plenty of hits to go around. Decent number of shots for both teams. But there were only one or two shifts where I felt like Detroit was really threatening. Their goals came on perimeter shots. They got a couple chances from the slot but weren’t moving the puck there with any regularity.

Maybe I’ve been worn down by this season but, even though the stats might call it close, I don’t see it. I’m going to need more from the Wings to consider them a threat.

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 to Open Playoffs in Tampa on Wednesday

The Detroit Red Wings will open their Atlantic Division Semifinal series with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday in Tampa, the National Hockey League announced on Sunday.

For the second consecutive season, the Red Wings and Lightning will meet in the first round, with Tampa Bay as the higher seed.

The series will be played with games every-other night, aside from a two-day break between Game Five and Game Six (if necessary). The full schedule is as follows:

The Red Wings’ 2016 Atlantic Division Semifinals Schedule
Date Opponent Location Time
April 13, 2016 Tampa Bay Lightning Away 7:00 PM; NBCSN
April 15, 2016 Tampa Bay Lightning Away 7:00 PM; CNBC
April 17, 2016 Tampa Bay Lightning Home 7:00 PM; CNBC
April 19, 2016 Tampa Bay Lightning Home 7:00 PM; NBCSN
April 21, 2016 Tampa Bay Lightning Away TBD; TBD
April 24, 2016 Tampa Bay Lightning Home TBD; TBD
April 26, 2016 Tampa Bay Lightning Away TBD; TBD