Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning lights up Red Wings 6-2 (w/video)

TAMPA — Like most everything else this season, the Lightning didn't make Tuesday's 6-2 win over Detroit easy on itself.

But in one of its biggest regular-season games in years, Tampa Bay found a way in front of a sold-out crowd at Amalie Arena, moving into first place in the Atlantic Division and giving it a six-point cushion over the Red Wings, who are now sitting tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference with Philadelphia.

This one got dicey late in the second period, when the Red Wings cut a three-goal deficit to one. But unlike a third-period collapse Thursday in Dallas, the Lightning scored a clutch five-on-three power-play goal before adding two more in the third.

"Sometimes when we (squandered a lead), guys were getting mad," wing Erik Condra said. "This time nobody got mad. Nobody said anything. We looked at each other and said, 'We need to play better.' And that's what we did."

Said defenseman Victor Hedman: "We didn't panic."

The Lightning (42-26-5) hopes this kickstarts a critical six-game homestand on its playoff push, with matchups against two playoff contenders, the Islanders on Friday and the Panthers on Saturday. Tampa Bay got an unexpected boost from Condra, who had two goals and a game-high five shots, his first points since Dec. 26 (just eight overall).

"I thought he could have had five (goals)," coach Jon Cooper said. "He was all over the place."

The Lightning took a 3-0 lead early in the second on Steven Stamkos' 34th goal of the season, chasing goaltender Jimmy Howard. But after the Red Wings scored back-to-back goals to pull within 3-2 with 4:35 left in the second, Tampa Bay regained the momentum with Nikita Kucherov's power-play goal.

The Lightning power play, 27th in the league, is still in a 2-for-28 stretch, but few tallies have been as timely as Kucherov's, tapping in a cross-crease feed by Tyler Johnson.

"We put pressure on ourselves to make that one count," Hedman said. "You have to bury those, especially in a tight game like that."

The Lightning, which outshot Detroit 34-25, had more than four goals for the first time since Feb. 18 and scored in the first two minutes of each period. Those were devastating blows to the Red Wings.

"We never gave up the lead, but we never really let them get that close," Cooper said. "And when they made it a one-goal lead we extended it pretty (quickly)."

Almost as important is Hedman said the team got back to a full 60-minute compete level, displaying the combo of playing fast on offensive and steady on defense. "If we keep that going," Condra said, "we're going to be a scary team to play against."

Goalie Ben Bishop was solid again with 23 saves. And the Lightning, having learned the hard way from its deflating loss in Dallas, bent but didn't break.

"We weren't too worried about it," Johnson said of having the lead cut to 3-2. "Obviously we were frustrated with it. But we knew we had to play better. It was up to us to respond and we did that."

 

Lightning 2 2 2 6
Red Wings 0 2 0 2

 

First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Condra 4 (Palat, Boyle), 1:47. 2, Tampa Bay, Namestnikov 13 (Brown), 9:55. Penalties—Quincey, Det (roughing), 7:17; Paquette, TB (roughing), 7:17; Glendening, Det (roughing), 15:34.

Second Period—3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 34 (Kucherov, Hedman), :33. 4, Detroit, Abdelkader 18 (Zetterberg, Kronwall), 8:08 (pp). 5, Detroit, Helm 12 (Datsyuk, Mantha), 15:25. 6, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 28 (Johnson, Stamkos), 17:42 (pp). Penalties—Smith, Det, major (fighting), 2:21; Brown, TB, major (fighting), 2:21; Killorn, TB (roughing), 6:34; Green, Det (tripping), 16:41; Abdelkader, Det (cross-checking), 16:53; Kronwall, Det (slashing), 18:47.

Third Period—7, Tampa Bay, Palat 14 (Johnson, Hedman), 1:03. 8, Tampa Bay, Condra 5 (Boyle), 16:56. Penalties—Nyquist, Det (slashing), 5:21; Namestnikov, TB (slashing), 5:21. Shots on Goal—Detroit 7-9-9—25. Tampa Bay 15-12-7—34. Power-play opportunities—Detroit 1 of 1; Tampa Bay 1 of 4. Goalies—Detroit, Howard 10-11-5 (16 shots-13 saves), Mrazek (0:33 second, 18-15). Tampa Bay, Bishop 31-19-4 (25-23). A—19,092 (19,092). T—2:29. Referees—Francis Charron, Justin St. Pierre. Linesmen—Brad Kovachik, Pierre Racicot.

Lightning right wing Erik Condra celebrates his second goal of the game as he returns to the bench during third-period action.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Lightning right wing Erik Condra celebrates his second goal of the game as he returns to the bench during third-period action.

Lightning lights up Red Wings 6-2 (w/video) 03/22/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 7:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often

    Bucs

    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  2. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005

    Bucs

    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  3. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge

    Bucs

    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  4. Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Lucas Duda in the sixth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field on Friday.
  5. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz celebrates his Trop-record 482-foot home run in the ninth inning.