Exciting Atmosphere: Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde was happy with how Little Caesars Arena was ‘buzzing' during Detroit's 2-1 win over Tampa
Not only did the Detroit Lions handle their business against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a few blocks away at Ford Field, but the Detroit Red Wings also contributed to the success by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning at Little Caesars Arena with a final score of 2-1. This marked Detroit's second win over their division rival at home this season, a noteworthy achievement considering it used to be a rare occurrence. Head coach Derek Lalonde observed a special buzz in the building and acknowledged that the success of the Lions likely played a role in creating a positive atmosphere.
The Red Wings held on for a huge divisional win against the Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning took an early lead on the scoresheet when Russian superstar forward Nikita Kucherov connected with defenseman Victor Hedman, who managed to slip a shot past the sprawling Alex Lyon for the game's opening score. However, the Red Wings swiftly responded as Lucas Raymond‘s shot was accidentally deflected into the net by goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. Notably, Vasilevskiy had previously maintained a perfect 6-0 record at Little Caesars Arena.
In the second period, the Red Wings seized control as forward Daniel Sprong broke away, facing Vasilevskiy one-on-one, and skillfully beat the Russian goaltender with a glove-side shot. This goal provided the Red Wings with the lead, and they successfully held onto it for the remainder of the game.
Lyon delivered another impressive performance, securing a solid game with 28 saves, including crucial stops as Tampa pressed for the tying goal in the 3rd period.
Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde praised the atmosphere at LCA
Lalonde expressed his appreciation to the sellout crowd, which notably featured several Honolulu blue shirts and jerseys. Among the fans were those who had also been cheering on the Lions at nearby Ford Field. Lalonde acknowledged the shared enthusiasm and support from fans of both teams in what was undoubtedly a special atmosphere.
“I coach in pro sports,” Lalonde said. “There's very few times you hit it and you engage an entire city. I get the fact it's been so long for them, but the way they've done it and the energy and how authentic the group is — our building was buzzing at the start. Sunday night game, I don't know if we generated the buzz — I think it had a little bit to do with the Lions win. It was pretty cool, and it's going to be really neat to watch them next weekend.”
Meanwhile, Lalonde was also sure to give a shoutout to Lyon, who has emerged to seize Detroit's starting goaltender role in Ville Husso‘s absence.
“Lyon was excellent,” Lalonde said. “Anytime you kind of match a performance from Vasilevskiy, huge on him. We needed him in the third. He stood tall for us.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday night by a 2-1 final score
- Lucas Raymond and Daniel Sprong scored for the host Red Wings, who got 28 saves from goaltender Alex Lyon
- Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde was happy with how Little Caesars Arena was ‘buzzing' during the victory
Bottom Line: Back on Track
The Red Wings faced the imperative of rebounding from Friday night's disappointing loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, during which they managed only 12 shots on net – a season-low. In contrast, against Tampa Bay, they significantly elevated their offensive performance, firing the puck 35 times toward Vasilevskiy. Notably, this game marked the first time Vasilevskiy lost a game at Little Caesars Arena in his career.
The Red Wings will next take the ice at home on Tuesday night as they bring in the Dallas Stars, and will be wanting to avenge their loss at American Airlines Center last month.