Beginning the last extended homestand of the regular season, in play tonight was the classic "four point game" scenario. With a loss, the Lightning would hold a tenuous two-point lead over the Red Wings, current residents of the second wildcard and final Eastern Conference slot. Instead, with the win, that lead is now a relatively healthy six points and thanks to tiebreakers with the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay is on top of the Atlantic Division.
"It's obviously good to get scoring throughout the lineup. We are very happy with the way we played today, and like I said, we are very happy that everyone contributed in one way or another and it was a full team effort tonight. We have to keep that going on the run here." - Victor Hedman
Lots of scoring tonight and it began at the 1:47 of the opening period when the Lightning's Erik Condra scored on assists from Ondrej Palat and Brian Boyle.
At 9;55, the Lightning doubled up the lead when Vladislav Namestnikov converted J.T. Brown's rebound.
The score was 2-0 Tampa Bay after one.
Just 33 seconds into the second, Steven Stamkos skated in from the side of the net, bounced the puck off Detroit's Jonathan Ericsson's skate and past Red Wings starting goalie Jimmy Howard.
Howard was pulled and replaced by Petr Mrazek after that goal, having given up three goals on 16 shots.
Detroit got on the board with a power play goal at 8:08. Justin Abdelkader was the beneficiary of a rebound that came right to him off a shot from Henrik Zetterberg. Niklas Kronwall picked up the secondary assist.
Tampa Bay seemed to be laying back and Detroit took advantage at 15:25 when Darren Helm scored on helpers from Pavel Datsyuk and Anthony Mantha.
The Lightning acquired some breathing room at 17:42, converting a five-on-three power play with Nikita Kucherov scoring on assists from Tyler Johnson and Stamkos.
The period ended with the Lightning up 4-2.
The Lightning kept the Red Wings off the board the rest of the way, adding two more goals of their own scored two more in the third. Palat scored on assists from Johnson and Hedman at 1:03 and Condra tapped in his own rebound at 16:56 for his second goal of the night, this time getting assistance from Brian Boyle.
"The whole team played a good game. Being from Detroit, it's always fun to get one or a couple against your hometown team." - Condra
The homestand continues when the New York Islanders visit this Friday.
- This is the fourth and final meeting between Detroit and Tampa Bay this season, with the teams splitting the series, each winning their two home games.
- The Lightning have won six straight regular season home games against the Red Wings.
- They're now 7-3-0 in home games following multi-game road trips, including seven straight.
- Ryan Callahan and Valtteri Filppula were scratched due to injury and are both listed as 'day-to-day'.
- Condra recorded his fourth and fifth goals of the season, having not scored since December 5.
- The Lightning are now 32-7-0 when scoring first, 16-4-0 when leading after one period and 33-2-0 when leading after two.
- This is the first consecutive wins for the Lightning since the last two victories of the nine-game winning streak that ended on March 5.
- The Lightning honored Alice Buzzetto as the 36th Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game. Buzzetto, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Dress for Success and Van Dyke United Methodist Church. Tonight's community hero has played a pivotal role in aiding families that have been dealing with grief in their lives. Buzzetto is a facilitator at a GriefShare program that gives support to those who have lost a family member or friend. The program holds two 13-week sessions a year with an average of 15 participants per session. As a result, over 100 individuals have been guided through their journey with grief. Buzzetto also serves as volunteer at Dress For Success, an organization that helps women with writing resumes and prepare for job interviews. Overall, her passion for serving others has impacted those who needed to resolve their complex issues of grief in order to achieve a fulfilled future. Buzzetto becomes the 215th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $10.9 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.