The Red Wings carried a lead toward the final minute of their last game only to see that lead disappear before losing with little time left in overtime. The Red Wings try to get back to their winnings ways tonight.
Matchup: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings
Venue: Joe Louis Arena; Detroit, MI
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Television: Detroit-FSD; Tampa-Sun Sports
The Detroit Red Wings (9-5-3, 21 points, 3rd place Atlantic Division) came out of their four game road trip with six of a possible eight points. The Red Wings returned back to Joe Louis for seven of their next eight games with a tough loss in the final seconds of overtime to start of the home stand. The Red Wings will look to get back on track when Steve Yzerman's Tampa Bay Lightning (11-4-0, 22 points, 1st place Atlantic Division) come to town.
The Red Wings and the Stars both started slow in the first period Thursday night with the Red Wings registering only 7 shots and the Stars registering 4 shots in the first. The second period was a completely different game however. The Red Wings were able to strike first nearly 8 minutes into the period on a goal by Todd Bertuzzi. Almost seven minutes later, defenseman Adam Almquist scored his first career NHL goal to put the Red Wings up 2-0. The Red Wings looked as if they were going to head into the locker room with a two goal lead when Dallas was able to connect with 21 seconds left in the period to cut the lead to 2-1. The Stars were able to strike first in the third period to tie the game up only 5 minutes into the period but Pavel Datsyuk would not let that stand. Datsyuk was able to make a Datsyukian deke through the Stars defense to connect for the go ahead goal with 8:30 left in the game. The Red Wings were well on their way to a victory when Justin Abdelkader got called for a questionable goalie interference call. The Stars were able to take advantage of the call and tie the game with only 1:10 left to play. The game then looked headed for a shootout after over four minutes of scoreless overtime hockey when the Stars were able to connect with the game winning goal with only 19 seconds left in overtime. The loss was the second straight for the Red Wings though they did earn a point.
The Lightning come into this game as one of the surprise teams in the NHL this season. Tampa Bay was picked by many experts to finish near the bottom of the Atlantic division. Instead, Tampa comes into tonight's game in first place in the division. Tampa has won three games in a row and six of their past seven overall. Tampa has been able to combine solid goaltending with consistent offense during their latest run. In each of the past six victories, Tampa has scored three or more goals in each of those games while allowing only two or less in four of the six games.
The Red Wings will be starting Jimmy Howard in net tonight after he took the tough loss in Thursday night's game. Howard has not played to the potential he is capable of thus far this season and we have not seen the play that helped carry the Red Wings to the playoffs last season. The season is still fairly young and the defense has not helped him out much. More solid defensive play should help Howard's numbers increase as the season goes on.
Tampa Bay will counter with Ben Bishop in net tonight. Bishop's second season with the Lightning could not have started any better. Bishop is currently 10-2-0 with a 2.14 GAA and .928 save percentage and has been in net for Tampa's past three victories. Bishop is proving to be tough to beat and will be looking to increase his win streak to four while pushing a divisional rival's losing streak to three games.