Detroit Red Wings powerless as they end season with a loss to Lightning

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Unfortunately, this will be the final postgame article of the 2022-23 season. Although the Detroit Red Wings took us on a roller coaster ride of a season, the reality is this organization missed the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

Many of us are expecting a big offseason from general manager Steve Yzerman and the organization. This team is expected to take a step forward next season, and there is no reason or excuse why Detroit won’t be a playoff-bound team a year from now.

The Detroit Red Wings finished the regular season in Tampa Bay, squaring off against the Lightning, who have the Toronto Maple Leafs at the forefront of their mind. Toronto and Tampa will square off in the first round of the playoffs next week.

The powerless Detroit Red Wings lost 5-0 to Tampa Bay in the season finale.

Despite outshooting the Lightning to the tune of 13-3 in the first period, the Red Wings found themselves behind in this game, where they’ve seemed to be oh, so often.

The Tampa Bay Lightning opened the scoring on their first shot of the game, which came at the 7:49 mark of the first period. Alex Killorn got the goal, his 27th of the season. Andrew Cirelli slid a pass over to Killorn, who was open in the slot after the Lightning held the offensive zone for what felt like an eternity. Killorn walked in and snapped a shot from the left circle, beating Detroit Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso in that shooter’s sweet spot just over the left pad and under the glove.

Killorn, 33, is a pending free agent, and unless he is willing to take a significant pay cut from what he could fetch on the open market, his time in Tampa Bay may be coming to an end. Killorn has scored 93 goals and 205 points over the past four seasons. He’s followed up a 25-goal season from a year ago with 27 this year.

Killorn recorded 15 goals over 56 games during the COVID-19-shortened season and, the year before, notched 26. Killorn may be someone Yzerman targets in free agency on a short-term deal due to his familiarity with the veteran winger, plus Detroit will be looking to add some depth to scoring.

There was no scoring in the second frame. Detroit held a slight edge in shots outshooting the Lightning 15-14 in the period.

Brandon Hagel scored his 30th goal of the season at the 7:27 mark of the third period to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead. Killorn and Brayden Point drew the assists on the tally. Point would later add a goal of his own, his 50th goal of the season, in fact, at the 10:47 mark of the third period. It was a power-play goal that was unassisted. Point then added goal no. 51 of the season, hitting the empty netter at 15:59 of the third, making it 4-0 Lightning. Just when you thought it was over, it was not. The Lightning struck again with 10 seconds remaining in the third. Mikey Eyssimont got his fifth of the season to make it a 5-0 final.

The Detroit Red Wings finished the night a measly 35.8% in the faceoff circle and 0-2 on the power play. The Red Wings were 1-2 on the penalty kill and outhit the Lightning 36-22; the shots ended up even at 32 apiece. Detroit finished the year on a five-game losing streak.

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And as they say, that’s all, folks.