After a forgettable banner night loss Tampa Bay looked to rebound against the Detroit Red Wings and spoil their opening night. Fans were greeted with a frantic night filled with goals and heated moments. Majority of the game Detroit had control with no hope in sight for Tampa. The Lightning however never gave in and secured a comeback victory for the ages. Penalties were a plenty as the bad blood between the two teams continued.
Commanding the game
Out of the gate the Bolts offense went to work and applied quick pressure on the Red Wings defense. Early on however the Lightning’s penalty kill would be tested. Taylor Raddysh was called for a hi stick that would result in a double minor penalty. Tampa however killed off both penalties with ease and nearly scored short-handed. Remainder of the period would see the Lightning constantly crash the net in hopes of opening up the scoring. Alex Nedeljkovic had other ideas and did a solid job preventing the puck from going past him. Bolts later would get their shot on the man advantage after Givani Smith is called for hooking. Detroit killed the penalty with ease and did not allow Tampa a shot on goal.
Squeaking in a goal
Despite generating numerous scoring chances the Lightning surrendered the first goal of the game. Andrei Vasilevskiy initially saved the shot from Robby Fabbri, but Dylan Larkin was right there for clean up duty. Detroit took the 1-0 lead and looked to keep the scoring going heading into the 2nd period. As time expired Pat Maroon and Smith are called for unsportsmanlike conduct thus having the next period begin with 4 on 4 hockey.
The 2nd period started the worst way possible for the Lightning. Miscues on both sides of the ice continued allowing Detroit to net in an early goal. Tyler Bertuzzi took advantage of the odd man opportunity and scored with ease to extend the lead. Minutes later it seemed Tampa fully collapsed when Bertuzzi scored yet again to give the Red Wings a 3-0 lead. When all looked lost, Ondrej Palat came to the rescue with a quick answer to Bertuzzi’s second goal. Palat fired a wrist shot past Nedeljkovic to get the Lightning on the board. Minutes later hell broke loose on the ice. Larkin did not take kindly to a hit from Mathieu Joseph and then proceeded to lose his cool.
Mayhem in Detroit
Larkin then threw a sucker punch at Joseph resulting in a match penalty that ended his night early. Jan Rutta is called for grabbing Larkin yet Bertuzzi is not called for grabbing Rutta. Bertuzzi then scored his third goal of the game which seemingly sealed the deal for the Red Wings. Tampa would not give up and looked to cut the lead with the extended power play. Captain Steven Stamkos ripped the puck that no goalie could have stopped to cut the lead 4-2. As Killorn was trying to score Nedeljkovic blatantly interferes with him, but no call was made. At this point the officials lost total control of the game. Regardless, Stamkos scored yet again on the power play to pull the Bolts within 1. Afterwards, the period would end with 4 total roughing calls with neither team awarded a power play.
Tampa looked to correct their constant sloppy play while the Wings had their sights on putting the cherry on top of this frantic 4-3 game. Minutes into the period Bertuzzi is called for tripping giving the Bolts a chance to tie the game on the power play. Red Wings kill of the penalty with ease and then punished the Lightning for yet another misplay on defense. Out of the box Bertuzzi tore apart the Lightning defense as he has all night and scored his 4th goal of the game giving Detroit a 5-3 lead. Just when the team looked like it would rebound, the Bolts defense surrendered another goal this time to ex-Lightning Vladislav Namestnikov.
Rewind and rebound
Ross Colton fired a backhand shot that found its way into the net. Bolts still trailed 6-4 with around 5 minutes left in the game. Minutes later the Lightning found some much needed life on the man advantage. Nikita Kucherov scored with ease to bring the Lightning within 1 goal of the Red Wings again. Somehow someway Killorn ties the game up after tipping in Hedman’s initial shot. At this point both teams fed off each other’s anger and despite how poorly the Bolts defense played the team never gave in and put on a show for the ages. Miraculously this game would need overtime to crown a winner after the Lightning as a team produced a total rebound. Joseph remained absent from the bench and did not return.
A furious Lightning team took command in overtime and just like the beginning of the game kept the pressure on the Wings defense. They never let Detroit get the puck and the immaculate comeback would then be secured. Hedman fired the puck towards the net that Palat tipped in to win the game for the Lightning. By far it was not a gorgeous victory, but the team refused to surrender, rebound, and steal a win away from the Red Wings and Bertuzzi’s memorable night.
Pally completes the comeback. 😎 pic.twitter.com/pAwS4ryU5R
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) October 15, 2021
Three stars of the game
1st Star: Ondrej Palat – 2 goals (game-winning-goal)
2nd Star: Tyler Bertuzzi – 4 goals
3rd Star: Alex Killorn – game-tying-goal
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