Despite a late push by the Lightning in the third period, the Red Wings hung on in an impressive 6-4 victory over Tampa Bay–their first regulation victory against the Bolts since 2015.
The first period was a back-and-forth showdown. Troy Stecher, in his first game since suffering an upper body injury, got the Wings on the board with a dart off the stick of Tampa’s goaltender (with an assist from red-hot Filip Zadina). The Lightning answered a mere two minutes later.
The Red Wings decided to fire back with a goal of their own just a minute and a half later, as Filip Hronek slid a fantastic past to Dylan Larkin, who slipped it into the net for his second goal in two games since returning from injury. Again, the opposing team scored within a few minutes, as Tampa Bay’s elite power play tied up the game.
In one of his best games of the season, Anthony Mantha broke the tie with an odd goal, crashing into Tampa’s goaltender after being tied up by a defenseman. Mantha continues to play well, showing the core is building momentum.
Despite a strong effort by Tampa, Detroit’s offense stayed hot in the second, extending the lead to three goals. Luke Glendening snuck in a shot from an odd angle, and Robby Fabbri sniped one in a few minutes later. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier and the penalty kill put the clamps on during the second, killing five power plays and keeping the Lightning off the board.
Things got scary late for the Red Wings. Sitting on the lead late, the Wings played a bit with fire. The Lightning finally scored with just five minutes to go, cutting the lead to two. Just over a minute later, they cashed in again, cutting the lead to a single goal with less than three minutes left. But the Wings found a way to hold on, and Vladislav Namestnikov iced the game with an empty netter (with a friendly assist by Anthony Mantha).
Red Wings’ Goals
- Adam Erne was knocked out cold after a scrap in the second, though he returned to the game in the third
- Filip Hronek continues to collect assists without notching a goal, as he added two more to his total against Tampa.
- Despite letting in four goals, Jonathan Bernier was solid again between the pipes. He was especially clutch on the penalty kill.