Ugh, these guys again. Also, Mrazek lives!
The tired Lightning didn’t look so early, as Ryan Callahan threw a couple big hits in the first minute. They followed that up with holding the Red Wings shotless through the first seven minutes of the game, with a few good chances on Petr Mrazek that were too close for comfort. That included a net-front rebound shot by Ondrej Palat that was stopped, but the ability of the Bolts to get in that tight already did not bode well.
Nikita Kucherov got a long pass from Victor Hedman behind Jonathan Ericsson for a breakaway shot that Mrazek saved, sliding out of his crease as Ericsson collided with him. Mrazek was able to scramble back into his net, but it was Frans Nielsen that took the dive to the ice to stop the Steven Stamkos attempt. Goal-saver for sure as Mrazek was absolutely in no position to make a coordinated stop and his goal stick was lost in the corner.
The Wings got a two-on-zero with Tomas Tatar and Andreas Athanasiou as Brayden Point whiffed on the puck at the blue line where Tatar got a shot off but Louis Domingue turned it away.
After all of that, the Lightning got on the board first as Dan Girardi came down the side of the ice to redirect a Vladislav Namestnikov shot up and over Mrazek’s shoulder on the short side. Which, yeah, that really happened.
2-0 Tampa as Tyler Johnson snuck down the same side of the ice to get to a rebound from a Girardi deflection. How he managed to get by all the players on the ice in red unseen is, well, unsurprising but still unacceptable.
A fight broke out with about three-and-a-half minutes to go in the game because of course it did, but it was... Dylan Larkin?! Our angel baby threw a hit from behind on Palat that Point took exception to, and Point had Larkin backed up against the glass and his glove off right away. Larkin landed some hard hits but it was him that ended up worse off (at least in appearance) as his nose was bloodied as he skated off. Larkin ended up with a boarding minor and Point a roughing minor in addition to the fighting majors.
Kucherov was called for interference on Justin Abdelkader less than a minute later that inspired more shoving. Then on the power play there was chippiness in the middle of play, a hit on Hedman by Abdelkader, shoving and stickwork at the side of the net after a Domingue stop, and a Tatar fight with Yanni Gourde.
Five-on-three for the Wings as Hedman was called for slashing. A whole lot of passing led to no goals and even the 5-on-4 didn’t accomplish much. Athanasiou got fancy as he took a pass and shot between the legs in the dying seconds of the period.
Double A just tried this pic.twitter.com/VStCHlui3s— Winged Octopus (@WingedOctopus) January 8, 2018
Shots: 12-9 Red Wings
Score: 2-0 Tampa Bay
Twenty-odd seconds of power play to start the period. Nothing happened, in case you were wondering.
Martin Frk was knocked down by Slater Koekkoek at the side of the net juuust as he was taking a pass. Then the teams traded chances before the Wings got a two-on-one with Gustav Nyquist and Tyler Bertuzzi. Nyquist looked like he was going to take the pass over to Bertuzzi, but instead he took the shot himself and elevated it over Domingue’s shoulder for the goal!
Larkin was immediately present on the ice when he returned, knocking Cedric Paquette to the ice and getting chances of his own.
More shoving and silliness after the net was knocked off its moorings and the puck went in from behind. Henrik Zetterberg threw his arms up anyway but alas.
Another Lightning penalty for roughing, this time on Stamkos for some reason. Then another short five-on-three as Braydon Coburn got his stick between Athanasiou’s legs and tripped him.
Trainers were called immediately as Girardi blocked a Frk shot on the power play and was face-down and motionless on the ice. It was a tense couple minutes before Girardi rolled over and was able to sit up. He was slow going off with the help of Hedman and Stamkos, but he was at least able to skate off himself. Replays showed he took the puck directly to the right side of his head and/or face.
Nyquist pulled a nice toe drag between the skates of Hedman in front of the net to get a better angle on Domingue, but wasn’t able to get it past the Lightning goalie. It was certainly an impressive play on one of the league’s best defenders.
Gourde knocked the puck into the net after a confusing scramble in front of the net. Replays showed Alex Killorn colliding with Mrazek as he was trying to sweep the puck under his pads, and Detroit challenged for goaltender interference. It certainly seemed like the Wings had a case, but the referees apparently disagreed. Whatever. That’ll probably end up being the game winner.
Shots: 26-13 Red Wings
Score: 3-1 Tampa Bay
Okay. Time for goals instead of fisticuffs this period.
Mike Green tried to drop the puck back to Anthony Mantha, which Hedman tried and half-succeeded in preventing, but Abdelkader was able to get to Hedman’s clearing attempt and just slap it into the Tampa net. 3-2 game just over three minutes into the period!
Chris Kunitz was in front of Mrazek and tried to fling the puck backwards into the net, but Mrazek stretched out his left pad and made the save, reaching back to cover and get the whistle.
I’m writing this now with nine minutes and change left: this game is getting the inevitable feeling of Tampa pressuring and getting a dumb, lead-extending goal. We’ll see, huh?
Bad icing call, and I mean COME ON bad, and it’s an offensive zone faceoff win and immediate goal for Kucherov. Six minutes and 17 seconds left and it’s a 4-2 lead.
A fifth goal on more stupidity. A giveaway in the defensive zone turned into a shot by Palat that Gourde got to off the rebound, which flipped up and over Mrazek and just over the line before being swept out of the net.
FSD spent the last couple minutes of this game talking about the All-Star Game, while I was admittedly wrapping up this recap. It’s a familiar and disappointing result, but now the Wings have five full days off before meeting the Penguins on the road.
Time to rest up, heal up, and get ready to come back strong on Saturday.
Shots: 36-24 Red Wings
Score: 5-2 Tampa Bay
- I don’t know what some of the passes were tonight. Like, what actually was the thought process behind them? They were aware it wasn’t Ben Bishop taking up most of the net just by existing?
- The Lightning flew in from Ottawa after being thrashed 6-3 last night. Teams on back-to-backs are known to come out with energy, and one of the big keys is to withstand the initial wave of play until fatigue sets in. That, uh, didn’t happen.
- Thank goodness Girardi was able to skate off under his own power after that Frk shot to the head. That brought back memories of Patrick Eaves in too many ways.
Hockey game: gets chippy, players start shoving and punching— Lauren (@redwinger43) January 1, 2018
Me in the nosebleeds, yelling: don’t hurt yourselves!!
- dear sweet baby jesus that icing call before the fourth goal was laughably bad
- I hate Tampa Bay, but I especially hate when these two teams play each other because these days it always ends in garbage like this. Unnecessary roughness, fighting, and other dumb stuff prevails and often becomes the bigger story. Worse, the Wings can rarely take advantage of the opportunities they get against a skilled (and tonight, tired) team like this, and it seems like the Lightning always get those stupid flukey goals that you just know wouldn’t go in for the Wings.