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 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 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.

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.

Red Wings Fall to Lighting in Second Consecutive OT Loss

For the second-straight game, the Detroit Red Wings fell in overtime, dropping a 3-2 decision in the extra frame to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

They had previously lost in overtime to the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

With 1:19 remaining, Richard Panik stole the puck from Kyle Quincey behind the Detroit goal and sent a pass out to Teddy Purcell all alone in the slot for a quick snap past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard into the top of the net.

The goal gave the Lighting just their second-ever win at Joe Louis Arena, their first since 1994.

Henrik Zetterberg had opened the game’s scoring just 3:51 into the game. Pavel Datsyuk pressured Steven Stamkos in the left wing corner and Stamkos threw the puck out into the slot, where Zetterberg picked it off and whipped a shot past Tampa Bay netminder Ben Bishop.

The Lighting would tie things back up midway through the period, as Ryan Malone was left untouched on a wraparound chance off a feed from Matthew Carle. Howard stretched to stop Malone’s first attempt but Malone got the rebound and lifted it over the prone goalie at 10:11.

Immediately after killing off a long series of Detroit power plays, the Lightning would take the lead with 7:10 left in the second period. Stamkos was left alone as the Red Wings attempted to clear their zone but Victor Hedman stepped up to hold the puck in and sent it to Stamkos, who rifled a shot past Howard to make it 2-1.

Zetterberg’s second of the night evened things back up with 4:12 remaining in regulation. Danny DeKeyser dumped the puck in from the neutral zone and it wrapped around the boards. On the right wing Datsyuk let it go back to Zetterberg, who stepped up to the faceoff dot and fired a slapper off the stick of former Red Wing Valtteri Filppula and past Bishop.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, with the Red Wings having four chances with the extra attacker and Tampa Bay having three.

Howard finished with 31 saves on 34 shots against while Bishop stopped 25 of 27.


The Red Wings were without Stephen Weiss, Johan Franzen, Jonathan Ericsson and Brendan Smith due to injury. Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves were healthy scratches… Xavier Ouellet and Luke Glendening were called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins for the game, with Adam Almquist being sent back to Grand Rapids.

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.