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Rebound Attempt Falls Short in Detroit

The Tampa Bay Lightning headed into action in Detroit tonight following a game last night that Coach Jon Cooper referred to as a complete game. “A complete bag of you-know-what” to be exact. It’s difficult to argue with Cooper’s words. The Bolts flat-out did not show up for the game in Toronto, delivering unequivocally their most lackluster performance of the season thus far. Perhaps fortunately, they had little time to stew over that debacle, as they traveled to Detroit, desperately seeking a rebound game. When last these two teams met just two weeks and a day ago, the Bolts struggled to find the back of the net against Ville Husso and lost by a score of 4-2. With that loss, the Lightning sunk to a wildcard position, as the Red Wings locked into third spot in the Atlantic Division. However, since that time, the Wings are winless in their last six. They’ve slipped all the way down to sixth in the division. By contrast, the Bolts had won five straight since that night before falling to the Leafs last night. So the stage was set. Would Detroit snap the six-game winless streak? Or would the Bolts get their much needed rebound game? 

Rebound Attempt Starts Out Promising

The Bolts were looking to rebound from their poor play last night and also from the last time they faced these Red Wings. On Tuesday night, the Lightning managed just four shots in the first period. Tonight, they seemed determined to change their fate and came out firing in the opening frame. They got rewarded early as Brayden Point scored just 1:29 into the game from Kucherov and Cernak. It was the 400th point of Brayden Point’s career.

Then, just past the 3-minute mark, the Lightning got a power play that became a 5 on 3 just ten seconds in as the Wings were called for delay of game. The Bolts were unable to score on the extended 2-man advantage.

Before the Red Wings even managed a shot on net, the Lightning already had eight, matching their full two-period total from last night. The rebound looked promising! And yet, they were up by just a goal.

And then things started to go sour. After sustained pressure and several great saves by Elliott, Olli Maata tied the game with his third goal of the season at 15:34. Just over three minutes later, the Lightning regained the lead, as Killorn scored his ninth of the season from Colton and Perbix. The referees initially waved off the goal, indicating that the puck didn’t fully cross the line. But a quick review confirmed a good goal. Then, less than a minute later, Michael Rasmussen tallied his 5th of the season to make it a 2-2 game half a minute before both team headed to the dressing room.

Battling it out in the Second

The second period saw both teams battling hard. Dylan Larkin scored at the 11:08 mark to give Detroit its first lead of the night at 3-2. Two minutes and 7 seconds later, Detroit’s Adam Erne passed the puck to Ross Colton right in front of Ville Husso. Colton made no mistake in banging the puck home to tie the game at 3-3.

Rebound Attempt Falls Short in Third

The two teams headed into the third period knotted at 3. The Bolts were determined to solidify their rebound game. The Wings were determined to end their 6-game skid. And then Brian Elliott, who was on a 7-game winning streak and had made some brilliant saves made a costly error. He left the net and without looking, passed the puck right to Red Wing Joe Veleno. Veleno passed it to Elmer Soderblom who put it into the open net with Elliott still not back. It was 4-3 Detroit under four minutes into the third, and all the momentum was going their way. Six minutes later, Dylan Larkin would score his second of the night to give the Wings a 2-goal cushion.

The Bolts made a bit of a game of it when Cooper pulled Elliott late in the game. Kucherov scored his 13th of the season from Hedman and Stamkos with the extra attacker on to bring the Lightning back within a goal at 16:13. The Bolts would make a feverish pitch for the equalizer but to no avail. Then, as happened last time they faced these Red Wings and again last night, the empty net proved costly for the Lightning, as they gave up 2 goals.

The rebound attempt fell short. The Bolts lost their second in a row. Elliott’s winning streak came to an end at 7 games. Prior to the start of tonight’s game, the Lightning learned that their next scheduled game had been postponed. With Buffalo preparing for a severe winter storm, the game originally scheduled for Friday night will now be played on Saturday, March 4th.

It was a rough back-to-back. The Lightning will hope to rest and return to form after the holidays.

Up Next

Bolts return home to face the Montreal Canadiens a week from tonight- Wednesday, December 28th at 7pm.

3 Stars

Dylan Larkin- 2 goals, including game winner

Michael Rasmussen- 2 goals, 2 assists for 4 points

Ross Colton- 1 goal, 1 assist


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