The Detroit Red Wings lose out on a crucial 2 points going into the Olympic break, as they drop the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2.
The first period was largely uneventful heading into the final minutes. The Red Wings dominated much of the play, but didn’t get one into the back of the net until very late in. At 17:18, Pavel Datsyuk put the puck up from behind the net to a waiting Daniel Alfredsson, who one-timed it past Ben Bishop quickly for the 1-0 lead leaving the period. The assist was Datsyuk’s 800th career point. Shots after one were 14-10 in favor of Detroit.
The second period, while seeing a goal for the Wings, didn’t exactly go the way they wanted. Tampa Bay would even the game on a power play. Just 1:44 into the period, Ondrej Palat made a shot in on Jimmy Howard that he stopped in close. Palat would pick up his own rebound and put it over Howard’s leg to tie the game 1-1. Detroit would respond, though, in a great effort from their youngsters. At 11:19, Tomas Jurco brought the puck up along the side of the net and roofed a backhander high on Bishop that beat him in the top corner to take the 2-1 lead again. Tampa Bay wouldn’t leave the period quietly, though, as at 17:13 Tom Pyatt put a shot in on Howard on a rush that took a bad/funny bounce on its way to the net, be it off a stick or off the ice, and bounced past Howard for the 2-2 tied score leaving the second. Shots were 26-21 for Detroit.
The third period was where it all fell apart late. At 16:49, Alex Killorn won a battle along the boards for the puck and put it up to a teammate. He then went to the front of the net and was left uncovered by Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson who were tied up together, and put the puck into the open side of the net to make it 3-2. Tampa would get their insurance goal at 18:57, on Palat’s second of the night. Detroit lost possession just moments after Howard went to the bench, and Palat let off a wrister from the neutral zone into the empty net to make the final 4-2 score. Final shots tallied at 33-28 in favor of Detroit.
They need to put this loss behind them and come back after the Olympic break with a vengeance as they did 4 years ago. The next game after the break is Wednesday, February 26th in Montreal against the Canadiens. See you then, Nation.