The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings in overtime, 4-3, on Blake Coleman’s fifth goal of the season. For the Lightning it was the ninth game in a row that they’ve picked up a point. For the Red Wings, it was their fourth consecutive loss. Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson, and Erik Cernak had the other goals for the Bolts while Adam Erne, Patrik Nemeth, and Dylan Larkin scored for Detroit.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves to pick up the victory while Thomas Greiss stopped 25. The Lightning made a small line-up change as Alex Barré-Boulet slotted in for Alex Volkov. Coach Cooper juggled the lines a bit with Tyler Johnson centering Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow while Anthony Cirelli moved up to play on the wing with Point and Ondrej Palat. Yanni Gourde took Cirelli’s center position on the second line.
After a little early back-and-forth the Red Wings went on the first power of the game when Steven Stamkos was whistled for a high-stick on a follow-through. Not only a penalty, but a double minor. Cool way to start the game.
Old friend Adam Erne took advantage of the call. It was a really nice play by the former Bolts prospect as he received the puck down low, spun in front of Vasilevskiy and lifted it under the bar in one fluid motion.
Adam Erne (Filip Zadina, Filip Hornak)
Despite the Red Wings continuing on the power play, it was Blake Coleman generating the best offensive opportunity as he forced Zardina to cough up the puck and then broke the other way. Coleman was able to snap off a quality shot on Greiss before he lost his footing. The rest of the power play went by the wayside for Detroit.
Christian Djoos was in a giving mood as he flipped the puck to the non-existent fans in Little Caesars Arena. For his generosity he was sent to the box for delay of game. Having scored in five of their last eleven power play opportunities, this was a situation the Lightning were looking forward to. An inadvertent horn thirty seconds into the advantage disrupted the flow a bit. They did not score (although the horn did go off a few times).
After some choppy even strength play (and several more blowing goal horns) Marc Staal upended Ondrej Palat and the Lightning were back on the power play. This time it was much more successful. A failed clearing attempt allowed the Lightning to set up in the zone and some pretty passing led to Brayden Point snapping a shot past Greiss from the slot.
Brayden Point (Ondrej Palat, Victor Hedman)
Before the Red Wings could sort things out, the Lightning struck again. Tyler Johnson isn’t a big player, but he won the battle in front of the net and made a really nifty deflection on Blake Coleman’s shot to give the Lightning the 2-1 lead. Two goals in 35 seconds changed the flow of the period.
Tyler Johnson (Blake Coleman, Erik Cernak)
The Lightning went on their third power play of the period a few minutes later as Darren Helm hooked Johnson. While they didn’t score, they did keep the pressure on as Killorn and Gourde had really good opportunities. It was a weird period that saw Detroit edge Tampa Bay in possession at even strength, but the three power plays tipped things in the Lightning favor overall as they had nine shot attempts, six scoring chances, and two high-danger chances with the extra skater.
They moved the puck really, really well on the power play and the Red Wings really had to work hard to hold them to just the single goal.
The Red Wings came out skating really well in the second period with Larkin and Vlad Namestnikov getting quality chances on Vasilevskiy. The newly constituted line of Tyler Johnson, Blake Coleman, and Barclay Goodrow had a really good shift in the Red Wings zone which seemed to tilt the ice back in the Lightning’s favor, but the Red Wings would soon find the equalizer.
At the end of a shift, Namestnikov was able to gain the zone way too easily, He worked the puck back to Sam Gagner who then dropped it to Partik Nemeth. The big defenseman unloaded a big shot that Vasilevskiy never saw thanks to the screen by Zardina in front of him.
Patrik Nemeth (Sam Gagner, Vlad Namestnikov)
Vasy really never had a chance on the goal and it was a really good read by Namestnikov to see Zardina driving the net and know that would open a seam behind him that he could get the puck over to Gagner to start the play.
The Lightning were relying a little much on punching the puck out of their zone without possession and it came back to burn them as Detroit easily crossed into the Lightning end. Ryan McDonagh was caught out on an island by himself. Robby Fabbri entered the zone and dropped the pass to a streaking Larkin who burst through the hole in the middle of the ice like a running back and beat Vasilevsky over his blocker. Give credit to Detroit for taking what the Lightning were giving them.
Dylan Larkin (Robby Fabbri, Filip Hronek)
It was obvious in this period which team had four days off and which team was nearing the end of long road trip. Starting just prior to the Nemeth goal, Detroit simply outskated the Lightning for most of the period. They were quicker on the puck and attacked the Lightning blueline with speed. You know, like the Bolts normally do.
The Lighting managed to keep them off the board (thanks, Vasy!) and a minor dust-up between Erik Cernak and Anthony Mantha was the excitement for the rest of the period (and the only penalties called).
The Lightning weren’t bad in the sense that they were turning the puck over, they just seemed content to get to the red line and dump the puck in deep. Detroit was able to retrieve it and prevent the Bolts from getting their cycle/possession game going.
With two goals scored, the Red Wings won the scoreboard battle as well as the stats as they put up 61.76% of the shot attempts and 83.33% of the high-danger chances (5-1).
After a fairly passive second period, the Lightning came out with a little more determination to force the puck deep and win the forecheck battle. In one case, a little too much determination as Anthony Cirelli was called for hooking in the corner.
The Lightning killed off the penalty rather easily, as they kept things on the perimeter and blocked up the passing lanes. They controlled most of the play from that point on and it their hard work in the offensive zone paid off as Pat Maroon won a battle on the boards and backhanded a pass to Cernak who was wide open. The defenseman, not noted for his offense, didn’t waste any time as he cranked a shot through Greiss for his first goal of the season.
Erik Cernak (Pat Maroon)
For Cernak it also completed the first Gordie Howe Hat Trick of his career. Which, honestly is a bit of a misnomer as Howe only scored a goal, recorded an assist, and picked up a fighting major in the same game twice in his career. It should be a Rick Tocchet Hat Trick. The former Lightning bench boss completed the trifecta a league-leading 18 times in his career.
A few minutes after his first goal of the season, Cernak almost doubled his season total as he ripped another big slapshot that hit not one, but two posts before careening out of the crease. Then he bounced one off of Palat’s leg and the post. Not bad for a player that left his last game following an illegal head shot.
The Lightning were really feeling it as they were swarming the Red Wings zone with the puck. Despite their best efforts they couldn’t break the tie, but they dominated the period. They fired 17 shots in the direction of the net compared to just 5 from Detroit at 5v5. Tampa Bay also had all 5 high-danger chances while generating a 78.3% share of the expected goals. This was what we thought the entire game would look like.
On to the bonus session, something the Lightning have become familiar with on this road trip as three of their last four games have needed extra hockey to complete. Dylan Larkin had the first chance as he tried to sneak a puck in short-side on Vasy. He didn’t get in the goal, but did manage to get inside Vasy’s jersey which is somehow more impressive.
The Lightning did find the net. Mikhail Sergachev caught the Red Wings on a line change as he threaded a long pass to Tyler Johnson at the Detroit blue line. Johnson drove in and passed it to Coleman who didn’t hesitate and buried the shot.
Blake Coleman (Tyler Johnson, Mikhail Sergachev)
It was probably a tougher win than the Lightning expected, but they pulled it off with a strong third period and banked two more points. The two teams meet again on Thursday.