Red Wings Beyond The Goal: Tampa Bay 11/3/15


The Detroit Red Wings made it four points in two games against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015-16 with a 2-1 win on Tuesday night. Riley Sheahan got the scoring started early in the second period with his first goal of the year. The Lightning answered back with a Nikita Kucherov tally at 15:58 of the second period.

The early story in Detroit, Dylan Larkin, put home his fourth of the season with just over 14 minutes remaining in the game. That Larkin goal was the game-winner, and gave the Red Wings their second consecutive win.

Let’s take a look at each goal in more detail.

Detroit Red Wings: Riley Sheahan (2)

Assists: Tomas Tatar (5), Jakub Kindl (2)
Time: 2:02 2nd Period
Score: 1-0 DET

The controlled breakout has been pitiful through the first 11 games of the season, but in this instance everything worked perfectly. There are two keys to this breakout. First, watch how low Sheahan swings to Howard’s right. He’s able to generate a lot of speed heading into the neutral zone. Second, Tatar was the stretch player, positioned deep in the neutral zone to back off the defensemen. Both of these pay off later in the play.

As Kindl steps out from behind the net, Tatar skates back towards the Red Wings’ zone and brings a defensemen with him. Kindl delivers the puck on time and Tatar makes a nice deflection pass to a streaking Sheahan. He’s able to skate right into the space that Tatar created by dragging a Tampa Bay defenseman up ice, and Sheahan rips one under the glove of Bishop.

This was great execution, and it paid off in a big way.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Nikita Kucherov (4)

Assists: Tyler Johnson (6), Steven Stamkos (3)
Time: 15:58 2nd Period
Score: 1-1 Tie

Obviously, giving a team like the Lightning a 5-on-3 power play is flirting with trouble. This time, it hurt. It’s tough to blame this penalty-kill unit for what happens on this goal, but I do believe one correction may have prevented that flurry of shots, and ultimately the game-tying goal.

As Tampa Bay shifts around and gets set up, everyone on the ice knows that Stamkos is going to let his vicious one-timer loose. As the puck moves low, Hedman heads to the front of the net and Stamkos steps into the open space in the high slot and takes his shot.

But like I said, everyone knew it was coming. Miller steps out towards Stamkos to block the shot, while Glendening slides across to also get in the shooting lane. But this over-pursuit left Kronwall alone in front of the net and had the Red Wings unorganized for a split second. Unfortunately, that’s all it takes to give up a 5-3 power-play goal.

Again, even if Miller and Glendening didn’t both try to block the Stamkos shot, I’m still not sure this goal would’ve been prevented.

Detroit Red Wings: Dylan Larkin (4)

Assists: Justin Abdelkader (2), Danny DeKeyser (2)
Time: 5:54 3rd Period
Score: 2-1 DET

Before this play can get started, Howard struggles to control a bouncing puck, but makes up for it with a toe save on Palat. Howard should’ve been the number-one star of the game, and the Red Wings would’ve been without a game-winner if not for this save.

Now, moving on to the most exciting element of this play—Dylan Larkin. His skating ability started the odd-man rush and backed off the Lightning defensemen. After crossing the blue line, Larkin drops the puck to Abdelkader and continues attacking towards the net. Abdelkader draws the attention of the defenseman and gives it right back to Larkin. By this time, Larkin has enough speed and space to turn the corner and attack the net, making a slick backhand-forehand move and beating Bishop low to the blocker side of the net.

Next: Get your full game wrap up here

If there’s one thing Larkin brings to this lineup, it’s speed. He attacks the neutral zone with it and creates scoring chances on the rush. The game-winning goal against Tampa Bay is the perfect example of this.