Going into tonight, everyone knew that this first meeting between the Detroit Red Wings and the Tampa Bay Lightning was going to be a tightly-contested one. Tampa Bay even admitted after last year’s post-season, after eliminating Detroit in 7 games, that the Red Wings offered them the biggest challenge of their playoff run to the Cup finals. So we knew this was gonna be an exciting one.
And we knew that the Red Wings were gonna come out energized and play a good flavor of bang-up hockey. Justin Abdelkader probably does it better than anyone right now.
I don’t think Alexander Killorn got the plate off that freight truck.
After a scoreless first period, the Red Wings would open the scoring in the closing minutes of the middle frame, on the power play. Gustav Nyquist let off a killer wrist shot from the faceoff dot and beat Ben Bishop to put the Red Wings up 1-0 leaving the period.
After the season “Goose” had last year on the power play, we knew this was only a matter of time.
Detroit would strike again roughly halfway through the third period, when Henrik Zetterberg took a pass in the slot from Dylan Larkin, with Abdelkader running the screen in front of Bishop, and put it in far-side top-shelf for the 2-0 lead. ‘O captain my captain, indeed.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) October 14, 2015
Tampa Bay would finally manage to get on the board in the second half of the period, when Detroit lost a faceoff in their own zone, and a couple quick passes by the Lightning ended with a one-timer by Ryan Callahan and behind Jimmy Howard for their first of the night. The Red Wings would get the dagger-goal after Tampa pulled Bishop in the closing minutes of the game. Kyle Quincey flipped the puck out of Detroit’s zone to relieve the pressure, and it ended up sliding all the way down the ice and into the empty net for the 3-1 final score, and his first of the season.
This team has now officially established themselves as a threat. Playing teams like Toronto and Carolina, those are games that they’re expected to win. But Tampa was to be their first real challenge of the young season, and they dispatched them in great fashion. And keep in mind, this is a team still playing without the likes of Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser, and the “magic man” himself, Pavel Datsyuk. Ken Holland will definitely have some hard choices to make once the boys start getting healthy again. Let’s enjoy a 3-0 start to the season, Nation. GO WINGS!