It wasn’t as easy, or as high-scoring, as the last game against the Detroit Red Wings, but the Tampa Bay Lightning used offense from unlikely sources to secure the 3-1 victory. Barclay Goodrow scored twice (including an empty netter) and Patrick Maroon added a goal while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 of 28 shots to earn the victory.
The Red Wings were much better in all facets of the game, had the lead for a few minutes in the first period thanks to a goal from a former Bolt, and pushed the Lightning all night long. In the end, they just didn’t have enough depth scoring to outlast Tampa Bay.
The goaltender match-up was the same as last game with Thomas Griess taking the net for Detroit and Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes for the Lightning. Greiss was trying to be the first goaltender not named Jonathan Bernier to win a game for Detroit since October 29th, 2019 (Jimmy Howard).
Detroit also mixed up their line-up in front of him a little. Flilip Zardina returned from COVID protocol after missing seven games. Giavanni Smith rotated into the line-up as well. For the Lightning, it was the same 11/7 line-up they’ve used the last few games.
It was a reversal of the start of last game as the Red Wings dictated play over the first few minutes. Their forecheck was much more aggressive and kept the Lightning bottled up in their own zone for the first two minutes of the game. Unfortunately, they lost a little of the momentum when Patrik Nemeth used his free hand to impede Blake Coleman behind the Detroit net. The Lightning were a little out of sync on the ensuing power play and didn’t get many great chances, but at least they found their footing in the game a little.
Detroit was able to get on the board, and finally take a lead in this two-game series after the Lightning committed back-to-back penalties. First it was Mathieu Joseph who was sent off when he hooked Anthony Mantha. The Red Wings almost scored on the power play but Dylan Larkin’s attempt at an empty net glanced off the outside of the post thanks to Anthony Cirelli harassing him a little.
Just prior to that scoring chance, Victor Hedman picked up a penalty so the Red Wings had a brief 5-on-3. They didn’t score with two extra skaters, or even one extra skater, but once the penalties expired, old friend Vlad Namestnikov tipped home a shot to score in his old home arena.
Vladislav Namestnikov (Filip Zardina, Jon Merrill)
Why play five on five when you can spend a whole period on special teams? This time it’s Giavonni Smith, younger brother of Lightning taxi-squader Gemel, going off the ice for slashing Victor Hedman. Don’t slash Victor Hedman.
The Lightning once again failed to score on the power play, but they did generate a lot of chances. Steven Stamkos has two shots from his office, one stopped by Greiss and one that went wide. Brayden Point had a shot from close stopped and Anthony Cirelli’s hard luck continued when he was stoned by Greiss’ left pad on a partial breakaway. For good measure his follow up attempt was knocked away by a random stick shaft. In all, they had five shots on the power play.
The Lightning drew some energy from the power play and kept up the pressure. It was simple pressure as well: get the puck in the zone and shoot the puck. It finally paid off when an unlikely source found the back of the net.
Pat Maroon (unassisted)
Patrick Maroon entered the game as the only skater not to have a point this season. That isn’t the case now. He saw that Alex Killorn had a nice screen going in front of the net and wristed one from the top of the circles. Greiss flashed out his glove in desperation, but never really saw the puck until he dug it out of the back of the net.
The period ended with the Lightning on yet another power play as Larkin swiped at the puck behind the Lightning net. He missed the puck and caught Ryan McDonagh’s skate, sending the veteran a-tumblin’. That’s a penalty. They did get one good shot, as Mikhail Sergachev whistled one just wide as the buzzer sounded.
The period began with a clean sheet of ice and the Lightning on the power play. It was better than the first one, but not as good as the second. Stamkos was inches away from scoring as he gunned one up from his office that caught the crossbar and bounced into the netting behind the glass. He had a snap shot that Greiss stopped, and a quick wrister from Killorn skittered through the crease shortly after.
After the power play, things settled down a little with both teams playing tight defense in their own zone. Detroit’s chaotic scrambling from the first five minutes of the last game were a distant memory as they did an excellent job of limiting the space in the offensive zone for the Lightning.
Erik Cernak had a couple of good chances with big slapshots. The first knocked the stick out of Greiss’ stick, and the second was deflected just wide. Detroit’s best chance from the first ten minutes was a shot that went just wide from Smith.
The Red Wings found a little life as Filip Hronek fired a shot from the slot from the slot that Vasy had to be sharp on to knock away. A follow-up effort was knocked aside by the big goaltender as well.
With things kind of going back and forth in a lulling kind of way, the Lightning struck somewhat suddenly. It was another player getting his first goal of the year.
Barclay Goodrow (Jan Rutta, Brayden Point)
Detroit was caught on a line change, and that gave the Lightning an easy entry into the zone and a little time and space. Jan Rutta had a chance to set Barclay Goodrow up at the point and Goodrow launched a shot from just inside the blueline that looked like it hit a stick and fluttered a little on the way in. Whatever happened, it fooled Greiss and Goodrow picked up his first goal in Amalie Arena.
After being beaten in almost all aspects of the game on Wednesday, the Red Wings held their own through two periods, even leading in regards to some of the even strength possession metrics (21-9 in scoring chances, 8-2 in high danger chances) according to Natural Stat Trick.
It was a quick start for the Lightning as Brayden Point busted in for a quick chance that Greiss made a right pad stop on. Mathieu Joseph followed up with another solid opportunity. From there, the Lightning locked the Red Wings’ offense down.
Detroit only had five shot attempts through the first ten minutes of the period as the Lightning played the exact type of hockey you like to see from a team with a one-goal lead. They kept things to the perimeter and made sure to get the puck out of the zone when they had the chance.
Tampa Bay got pressure from their defense as Mikhail Sergachev joined the rush with Yanni Gourde and Blake Coleman. The young defender’s shot was on target, but Greiss met the challenge and smothered the puck.
As time ticked away, Detroit’s desperation grew and they were able to pick up a few more shots. Their best chance came when Dylan Larkin was wide open in the right circle. Christian Djoos found him on the cross-seam pass and the Detroit captain unleashed a one-timer. Vasilevskiy met the blast and easily swallowed it up.
Another opportunity was left wanting after a nice backcheck by Killorn on Robby Fabbri with 5:50 to go. Fabbri had a good look at the net, but was never able to get the shot off as Killorn tied up his stick.
Erik Cernak quietly had a really good game. He played 20:10, was credited with five shot attempts and seven hits. His biggest hit was on Sam Gagner. Cernak hit him from behind at center ice and sent him to the ice. Gagner got up favoring his right shoulder and headed down into the tunnel following the TV timeout.
The Red Wings pulled Greiss with about 80 seconds to go in the game and the Lightning were able to seal the game away. It was Barclay Goodrow finding the empty net after Blake Coleman set him up. It was a smart play at center ice by Coleman to spin around and feed the puck over to Goodrow instead of shooting it down the ice.
With the win, the Lightning moved to 7-1-1 and back into first place in the Central. They have a couple of days off before hitting the road and playing Nashville in back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday.