TAMPA — Coach Jon Cooper said before Tuesday's game that the Lightning is quickly losing its margin of error.
The Lightning began a stretch of seven of eight at home. It also began the night out of a playoff spot and with a balky penalty kill.
It responded by killing all five penalties and scoring twice on five power play opportunities for a 4-1 victory against the Red Wings at Amalie Arena.
"We had to play with desperation," Cooper said. "I thought we did that."
The Lightning received a first-period goal by F Brian Boyle and second-period scores from F Jonathan Drouin, Brayden Point and Vladislav Namestnikov.
"It's important to understand that when we're skating, when we're on our game, it's not going to be easy for us but it's going to create more opportunities," Boyle said. "Tonight, in the first, we had a great period and we wanted to continue to do that and play 60 minutes."
It was the fifth goal in the past six games for Drouin.
"Some games you're feeling it and tonight was one of them," Drouin said. "The puck felt like it was on a string."
The one sour note in the evening for the Lightning was the first period lower body injury suffered by G Ben Bishop. Cooper expects to know more about Bishop's condition today after the goalie is reexamined.
It was the third win in the past 12 games for the Lightning (16-14-3). For Cooper, it was a continuation of the way the team played on the recent three-game Western Canada trip where it picked up three of a possible six points.
"Bank those two points," Cooper said. "We got two more (games) before the break."
WELCOME, KID: C Tanner Richard finally made his NHL debut Tuesday, taking and winning the opening faceoff.
Richard was supposed to make his debut Saturday when he was recalled from AHL Syracuse, but he missed his connection in Minneapolis by 30 minutes because his flight out of New York was delayed two hours for deicing. Richard could not make it to Edmonton in time for that night's game. He returned to Syracuse and was summoned Monday.
"Luckily there is no snow here in Tampa, so the plane couldn't freeze," Richard said after Tuesday's morning skate.
INJURY UPDATE: F Cedric Paquette (upper body) returned to the lineup after missing one game. F Ryan Callahan (hip) missed his 10th game. F Nikita Kucherov (lower body) missed his fourth game. F Ondrej Palat (undisclosed) missed his third game. Palat skated with the team in the morning but wore a red no-contact jersey.
Cooper was asked if Kucherov, who leads the team with 30 points, and Palat would return before the Christmas break.
"I don't know," he said. "I would have thought some of those guys would be back now. They need to heal. I've got no timeline for any of them."
First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Boyle 7 (Stralman, Drouin), 7:02. Penalties—Ericsson, DET, (tripping), 12:14; Killorn, TB, (high sticking), 14:43; Brown, TB, Major (fighting), 17:08; Athanasiou, DET, Major (fighting), 17:08; Brown, TB, served by Conacher, (roughing), 17:08.
Second Period—2, Tampa Bay, Drouin 8 (Killorn, Johnson), 7:41 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Point 3 (Johnson, Hedman), 17:04 (pp). 4, Tampa Bay, Namestnikov 4 (Point, Killorn), 19:27. Penalties—Filppula, TB, (tripping), 1:26; Ouellet, DET, (tripping), 7:07; Glendening, DET, (slashing), 7:34; Sustr, TB, (illegal equipment), 12:00; Hedman, TB, (interference), 13:21; Ouellet, DET, (tripping), 14:28; Filppula, TB, (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:28; Miller, DET, (slashing), 16:14.
Third Period—5, Detroit, Mantha 5 (Jensen, Zetterberg), 19:49. Penalties—Miller, DET, (high sticking), 0:11; Miller, DET, (high sticking), 0:11. Shots on Goal—Detroit 7-12-8—27. Tampa Bay 13-11-7—31. Power-play opportunities—Detroit 0 of 5; Tampa Bay 2 of 6. Goalies—Detroit, Howard 5-7-1 (16 shots-15 saves), Mrazek 9-7-3 (15-12). Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 7-4-1 (23-22), Bishop 9-10-2 (4-4). A—19,092 (19,204). T—2:32.