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Recap: Red Wings top untidy Lightning 7-4 in rough night for Brian Elliott

The Bolts have a chance to reset as their winter break comes early

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 21: Olli Maatta #2 of the Detroit Red Wings battles for the puck with on the bench with Pat Maroon #14 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on December 21, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan.
Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning started well, but couldn’t keep the puck out of their net as they eventually lost 7-4 to the Detroit Red Wings. Brian Elliott allowed five goals on 29 shots in the loss on a night with a lot of mistakes. Ahead of him, the Lightning’s defense struggled to get sticks on pucks and make things difficult for the Red Wings in front of the net. Offensively, the Bolts were obstructed the whole way by a dogged Red Wings team.

Brayden Point, Alex Killorn, Ross Colton, and Nikita Kucherov all scored for the Lightning, with Kucherov and Colton both going home with two-point nights. Stamkos led the team with six shots on goal as he chases 500 for his career. He’s been cold as of late.

The scorers for the Red Wings included Larkin (x2), Rasmussen (x2), Soderblom, Maatta, and Perron while Ville Husso stopped 34 of 38 for the win.

Point struggled a lot against the Larkin line, while Stamkos mostly feasted against Copp’s line. Despite getting lots of chances, Stamkos has been in a slump and just couldn’t push through offensively. On defense, Hedman and Perbox had good results while the third pair of Sergachev and Foote struggled.

At the end of the game, the Lightning had 55% of the shots, but 41% of the expected goals, that result mostly coming from a lack of rebounds (2-7 for the Red Wings).

Due to the massive snowstorm preparing to hit the entire northern half of the continent over the next few days, the NHL has postponed Friday’s road game against Buffalo, which will be played in March instead. As a result, the Lightning are on their winter break until Dec 28th when they host Montreal.

The Bolts are still in third place in the Atlantic division, but the Red Wings now move up into fourth despite a six-game losing streak leading up to this game. The Wings are six points back of the Lightning for the divisional spot and are three points back of a wild card spot.

First Period

1-0

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT...POINT! Brayden Point opened the scoring with a perfect shot to the top corner off the rush. Cernak made the play happen as he retrieved the puck from a dump in and made a stretch pass around all the Red Wings to Kucherov at the red line. Kuch stopped the puck for Point who was all alone the other way. The Red Wings were caught in the middle of nowhere as they expected to being going forward with numbers.

Joe Veleno got called for an illegal check to the head of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in open ice, forcing Bellemare to the dressing room. It was a dirty hit that might get looked at by player safety (if that is their real job), luckily Bellemare returned after getting checked out. Seven seconds into the power play, Ben Chiarot got called for shooting the puck out of the rink, giving the Lightning a 5v3 for nearly two whole minutes. The Lightning took a bit of time to get chances on the man advantage, but they eventually tested Husso, mainly from Stamkos.

1-1

After regrettably not scoring on their 5v3, the Lightning gave up a goal to Olli Maatta in front of the net. Neither Hedman or Killorn tied up Maatta, but Elliott knew he needed to save the shot that went under him. Pius Suter got the assist for his pass from behind the net. The Lightning were hemmed in their own zone and gave up about seven shots before the goal eventually came.

2-1

KILLER!! Alex Killorn found his own rebound with a slick deke to bring the puck back and snap the shot into the top of the net. Nick Perbix made a great play to keep the puck in at the line and jump forward up the wing and in front of the net. I say this every recap but Perbix has great offensive instincts. There was a brief review of the goal as the referees thought it went off the crossbar, but the shot actually bounced off the middle bar at the back of the net before coming out.

2-2

The Red Wings tied the game with a goal from Rasmussen in the final minute of the first period. Rasmussen tipped a point shot from Chiarot that got past Elliott.

After One

Not a great period for the Lightning who were behind in shot attempts (18-20) and far behind in expected goals (27%). A lack of focus in the defensive zone allowed the Red Wings to get shots and rebounds from in tight. And lost battles that led to missed assignment on the second goal against.

Second Period

2-3

Larkin beat Elliott to the top corner off a rush following a turnover at the red line by the first line. Perron made a pass to get around Perbix, Hedman was coming to rotate, but none of the five players on the ice were using their sticks to break up the play.

3-3

Former Bolt Adam Erne gave Colton a gift that Colton made no mistake on. It was a fortunate goal for the Lightning who were otherwise dominating the period but couldn’t take advantage of their pressur.e

After Two

The Lightning tilted the ice in the second period, but they couldn’t capitalize on more than keeping the tied game going. They led in shots (17-8) and paid the Red Wings back with 72% of the expected goals in the second.

Third Period

3-4

Another bad one for Elliott as he left the net gave the puck right to Veleno from behind the net. Soderblom tapped the puck in for the goal and the Red Wings second lead of the night.

3-5

Another another bad goal from Larkin. Elliott looked at himself as he realized he wasn’t covering the post from a really bad angle.

And it’s a brawl with seven minutes to go. This started with Chiarot slamming Bellemare to the ground a few minutes before. Then the Red wings started jumping on the Lightning. Cirelli and Hagel both got injured on the same play as the Red Wings dove into the corners body first with no inclination to get the puck. Larkin didn’t even have a stick when he jumped Cirelli before going off.

Moritz Seider crosschecked Hagel into the face along the boards, as well as reversed into Cirelli earlier that caused both players to head to the bench. Hagel’s injury seemed much more serious. Sergachev got a penalty for going after Seider, coincidental minors for both of them. Not fair if you ask me.

Husso stopped Point and Kucherov with a save low and a save high. Kucherov’s shot was labelled for the back of the net but somehow Husso stopped the Lightning winger.

Cirelli returned to the game with five minutes left. Hagel returned about a minute later.

4-5

Kucherov takes the shot with the net empty and the Lightning are within one!

4-6

The Lightning made a strong attempt at tying the game. Kucherov got a big shot, Perry got a rebound, Hedman got the puck on net from the point all within a few seconds, but Larkin got the puck out on that rebound and fed Perron for the ENG.

4-7

Rasmussen with another ENG with a minute to go and the game’s over.