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Lightning outchance Red Wings but lose in shootout

Tampa Bay had its opportunities, outshooting Detroit 33-15, but struggled to find the net.
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss (29) stops Lightning center Brayden Point (21) during the first period.
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss (29) stops Lightning center Brayden Point (21) during the first period. [ PAUL SANCYA | AP ]
Published May 1
Updated May 2

Following the Lightning’s 1-0 shootout loss to the Red Wings on Saturday in Detroit, coach Jon Cooper said he would have liked his odds on any other day given the number and quality of scoring opportunities his team created.

Tampa Bay manufactured 25 scoring chances, 33 shots on goal and 62 shot attempts but couldn’t find back of the net in being sent to just its second shutout loss in 50 games this season.

“We had some good looks tonight, let’s be honest,” Cooper said. “I would take that game again and take those same chances again and bet that a few more than zero would go in the net. So, unfortunate, but again, you’ve got to tip your hat to the other team. They defended, and when they broke down, their goalie made the saves for them. So probably fitting that it went to a shootout, and then it’s anybody’s game at that point.”

Red Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss frustrated the Lightning (34-14-3) with 33 saves in regulation and overtime, and four in the shootout (Yanni Gourde missed the net on his attempt). Detroit forward Sam Gagner ended the game with a wrist shot under Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney’s glove in the eighth round.

As Tampa Bay closes out the regular season jockeying for playoff seeding, every point is crucial. Credit the Lightning for a second straight fine defensive effort to run their point streak to five games, but there was a sense of missed opportunity after the game.

“It was a backchecking game,” said forward Ondrej Palat. “Detroit’s playing really well on defense. They kind of back it in in the middle and try to block shots, and we need to find a way to get the pucks through.”

The Lightning failed to take advantage of 1:46 of a 5-on-3 power play late in the third period. Defenseman Victor Hedman found Palat along the near post for an open look, but Greiss stopped Palat with a marvelous pad save with 4:37 left. Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev rocketed a shot off the crossbar 18 seconds later. The Lightning had just four shot attempts during the two-man advantage.

“You’ve got a chance late in the third to put the game away and you don’t do it, and now you’re playing with fire,” Cooper said. “It’s a big part of the game for us to get to points, and we didn’t do it. We were close but probably didn’t shoot the puck as much as we needed to.”

Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh’s goal with 9:23 left was negated after a Detroit challenge led to a goalie interference call on Palat.

Palat was trying to squeeze between Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser and Greiss as he skated out from behind the net. DeKeyser put out his hip, forcing Palat into the paint, and Palat and Greiss bumped skates. Greiss spun around while trying to make a glove save behind his back on McDonagh’s shot from the blue line.

“I’m just trying to get in front of the goalie,” Palat said. “I’m not trying to push him. I thought the D-man pushed me, and there’s not much I can do there. Unfortunately, it’s no goal there, and on 5-on-3 we need to score there, shoot more pucks. I had a good look there, and the goalie made a good save.”

Cooper said while that it was a tough break, the Lightning had many other opportunities to score.

“From my vantage point, Pally’s in the white and gets pushed into the blue,” Cooper said. “And of course he impeded the goalie, there’s no question. But from our viewpoint, it was that they initiated that. But they didn’t think so. It sucks, but I don’t think the game hinged on that.”

McElhinney stopped all 15 shots he faced during regulation and overtime and has now saved 39 of 40 shots over his past two games.

His best save came in the fast-paced 3-on-3 overtime session, when Jakub Vrana curled into the slot and had a point-black shot with 32 seconds left that McElhinney turned away.

“There were some long stretches there without any shots towards the net, so you’re doing a lot of watching,” McElhinney said. “But overall, I felt pretty good. For me, just trying to build on that last game that I had at home and go from there. Kudos to the guys.”

“I’m just trying to get in front of the goalie,” Palat said. “I’m not trying to push him. I thought the D-man pushed me, and there’s not much I can do there. Unfortunately, it’s no goal there, and on 5-on-3 we need to score there, shoot more pucks.”

Cooper said that though that was a tough break, the Lightning had many other opportunities to score.

“From my vantage point, (Palat is) in the white and gets pushed into the blue,” Cooper said. “And of course he impeded the goalie, there’s no question. But from our viewpoint, it was that they initiated that. But they didn’t think so. It sucks, but I don’t think the game hinged on that.”

McElhinney stopped all 15 shots he faced during regulation and overtime. He has saved 39 of 40 shots over his past two games.

His best save came in the fast-paced 3-on-3 overtime session, when forward Jakub Vrana curled into the slot and had a point-black shot with 32 seconds left.

“There were some long stretches there without any shots towards the net, so you’re doing a lot of watching,” McElhinney said. “But overall, I felt pretty good. For me, just trying to build on that last game that I had at home (a 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets on April 22) and go from there. Kudos to the guys.”

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieintheYard.

Red Wings 0-0-0-0—1

Lightning 0-0-0-0—0

Detroit won shootout 4-3

First Period—None. Penalties—Biega, DET (Hooking), 1:24; McDonagh, TB (Cross Checking), 16:28.

Second Period—None. Penalties—Hedman, TB (Holding), 9:05; Namestnikov, DET (Unsportsmanlike Conduct), 17:42; Colton, TB (Roughing), 17:42.

Third Period—None. Penalties—Svechnikov, DET (Hooking), 2:42; Veleno, DET (Boarding), 13:42; Gagner, DET (Tripping), 13:56; Coleman, TB (Holding), 16:23.

Overtime—None. Penalties—None.

Shootout_Detroit 4 (Vrana G, Zadina G, Erne NG, Veleno NG, Svechnikov NG, Namestnikov NG, Filppula G, Gagner G), Tampa Bay 3 (Colton G, Point G, Barre-Boulet NG, Hedman NG, Sergachev NG, Coleman NG, Johnson G, Gourde NG).

Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 11-6-14-2_33. Detroit 4-5-4-2_15. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 0 of 4; Detroit 0 of 3.

Goalies—Tampa Bay, McElhinney 4-5-2 (15 shots-15 saves). Detroit, Greiss 7-15-8 (33-33). T—2:43. Referees—Conor O’Donnell, Brian Pochmara. Linesmen—Ryan Gibbons, Bryan Pancich.

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