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.

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.

Andersson, Brunner Score Twice in Red Wings’ Rout of Canucks

Two Red Wings rookies led Detroit to an 8-3 rout of the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, as Joakim Andersson and Damien Brunner each scored twice to supply half the team’s goals.

In all, seven Red Wings had multiple points as Wings won their second game in as many nights. The twelve goals the team scored over the weekend matched their total over their previous five-game losing streak.

It was the Canucks who scored early and even carried a lead into the first intermission before the Red Wings scored five unanswered goals to end the game.

Daniel Sedin opened the scoring at 5:45 of the first period on a patient passing play with brother Henrik. The two traded off the puck several times in the Wings’ zone, looking for an opening. Henrik took it behind the net and Daniel jumped into the slot alone to take a pass and snap a shot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Jordin Tootoo evened things up with 8:52 remaining in the period. Coming down the right wing, his initial centering attempt was blocked by Jason Garrison but he picked the puck back up and threw it to the front of the net again, with it bouncing off Keith Ballard before hitting the inside of the post and going in behind Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. It was Tootoo’s second goal as a Red Wing, with both deflecting in off a defender.

Niklas Kronwall gave Detroit their first lead just 1:29 later. Pavel Datsyuk prevented a Vancouver clearing attempt at the left point and drove to the net, drawing a delayed penalty. He and Daniel Cleary kept control of the puck into the right corner before sending a pass out to Kronwall at the blue line for a slap shot that deflected past Luongo.

The Canucks would stage a rally with a pair of quick goals of their own late in the period.

Daniel Sedin tied the game with 3:42 remaining in the period. Henrik Sedin sent a long pass from his own side of center into the Red Wings’ zone and off the endboards to Daniel streaking in off the left wing. Having gotten around Jonathan Ericsson, Daniel backhanded a shot past Howard from in close to make it 2-2.

Just 2:08 later, Chris Higgins picked the puck off Justin Abdelkader‘s stick in the right faceoff circle and raced behind the net for a wraparound chance that went in on the far side of Howard.

Cleary began the Red Wings’ charge with a power play goal at 2:57 of the second period to tie things back up. Brunner picked up the rebound of his own chance from the right circle and shoveled it across to Cleary, wide open to jam the puck home at the far side of the net.

The Red Wings thought they had a lead with 5:40 left in the second when Patrick Eaves knocked a loose puck past Luongo on a delayed penalty but the play was blown dead before the puck went in. On the ensuing power play, however, Henrik Zetterberg netted a goal that did count, tipping a pass in the slot from Datsyuk on the right wing through traffic and past Luongo.

After an apparent Datsyuk goal was correctly waived off for being played with a high stick, Brunner extended the Red Wings’ lead with another power play goal with 42 seconds left in the period. Kronwall’s shot from the top of the right circle was kicked out into the slot where Brunner picked it up and cut towards the bottom of the right circle, where he lifted a shot over a sprawling Luongo.

Brunner made it 6-3 at 9:36 of the third period, throwing a knuckling shot from the top of the right circle on net and past Luongo.

Andersson scored his first of the night with 3:21 remaining in regulation, rifling a shot from the top of the left circle that was tipped by the outstretched stick of Ballard to get past Luongo.

He added another to close out the scoring 52 seconds later, taking a feed from Brunner at the left side of the slot and slapping a chance past Luongo.

Luongo entered the game with the best goals-against average in the league. He stopped 20 of the 28 shots he faced on the night and dropped to tenth in the league in GAA.

Howard, who was slated to have the night off until backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson‘s groin injury resurfaced, finished the night with 18 saves on 21 shots against.

Detroit scored three power play goals on five chances with the extra attacker, plus an additional goal on a delayed call. Vancouver was scoreless on their two power play tries.

The Red Wings now head out for their first trip West of the season, facing the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.