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Tampa Bay Beats Detroit into Submission

The Tampa Bay Lightning met the Detroit Red Wings for the first time this season. It was the same as it always was. They beat the hapless Wings 5-1. Detroit entered the game on a four game losing streak. The Lighting were 5-1-1 for the season.  Detroit’s coach, Jeff Blashill’s job is more shaky than it was yesterday. 

What a Start!

Less than two minutes into the game, Victor Hedman opened the scoring beating Thomas Griess to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead.  Make no mistake, it was the relentless forecheck by Tampa that led to Hedman’s goal.  After trading penalties while 4 on 4, Anthony Cirelli scored four minutes into the game to put the team up 2-0. Before Paul Porter could announce the Cirelli goal, while short handed, Ryan McDonagh was all alone on the left dot and snapped the third goal pass Griess. This is Boys vs. Men.  

So, five minutes into the game, Detroit pulls their goalie and Calvin Pickard was inserted. Somewhere Detroit GM Steve Yzerman is wincing realizing it’s not a rebuild he needs but a complete overhaul. There was some life detected from the boys from Motown.  They just couldn’t maintain puck possession for any length of time. There were some shots on Tampa goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy.  The first period ended with each team recording seven shots but the Tampa Bay Lightning were up 3-0.  As a result, Tampa was in control.

Second Verse, Kind of the Same as the First

To start the second, the Lightning were on a power play. Though they failed to score, the ice was tilted in favor of Tampa. The forechecking was working like they drew it up.  The Red Wings struggled to get out of their zone.  At 12:35 of the second period, Braydon Point scored the fourth Lightning goal.  Make no mistake, the Red Wings were battling to not be thoroughly embarrassed.  They just couldn’t sustain any presence in the Lightning zone.  So, it looked like a long night for the visitors.

At the halfway point of the second period, Anthony Mantha took advantage of a bouncing puck and on a breakaway scored Detroit’s first goal.  In another lengthy possession in Detroit’s zone a bouncing puck bounced over Mikhail Sergachev’s stick and Mantha was off to the races.  Beating Vasilveskiy on the blocker side, Mantha put the Red Wings on the board.  That made the score 4-1, Lightning.

The Red Wings momentum lasted about 90 seconds as Alex Killorn tipped in a Sergachev slapshot. That put the Lightning up 5-1.  Both teams had power play chances in this period but Detroit failed to score on their two chances and the Lightning missed at the start of the period.  Above all, the missed power plays didn’t change the way the Lightning attacked this game. 

This Tampa Bay Lightning team is Very Good

In a much slower pace, the third period was pretty uneventful for the first few minutes.  Three minutes in, the Lightning got their fourth power play opportunity.  For the fourth time tonight, they failed to score. Despite the power outage with the man advantage, the Lightning controlled this game.  From opening puck drop to final buzzer, it was all Lighting all the time. 

That should not have taken anyone by surprise as the Lightning had a 14 home game win streak against the Red Wings. Tonight they continued to dominate the puck throughout the final period to run that streak to 15.  Though neither team scored in the final frame, the Lightning defense smothered any offensive chances Detroit tried. In a game like this, one of the best things is that no one got hurt.  So, with the final score of 5-1, Lightning won their third in a row.  Detroit’s winless streak now hits five and they will be pumped up to change that on Friday when these two teams meet again.

Next Up:  The same Detroit Red Wings at Amalie Arena on Friday at 7:00pm. 

Three Stars of the Game:

*Blake Coleman – 2 assists including his 100th career point

**Victor Hedman -1 goal and a +2 

*** Alex Killorn – 1 goal and 1 assist





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