Detroit Red Wings center Sam Gagner (89) dives to clear the puck from Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) in the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Lightning Fall to Red Wings

The Tampa Bay Lightning (18-5-2) lost to the Detroit Red Wings (8-16-4) Thursday night with a final score of 6-4. This is the Red Wings’ first regulation win over the Lightning since 2015.

Holding Steady

Tampa Bay seemed to bounce back every time Detroit took the lead in the first period. The Red Wings opened up scoring eight minutes and 31 seconds into the game. The Lightning answered with a shot from the left circle by Steven Stamkos. Detroit took the lead again shortly after with a goal from Dylan Larkin. Once again, Stamkos responded with a power play tally to tie the game at two. The Red Wings got away with another goal to secure the lead just 61 seconds later. Anthony Mantha’s shot was initially stopped by goalie Curtis McElhinney, but Jan Rutta crashed into the net and pushed the puck over the line. Tampa Bay challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was confirmed after review. At the end of the first period, the Lightning were down 3-2.

https://twitter.com/TBLightning/status/1370220222196674562

Falling Short

Tampa Bay was able to hold steady with Detroit in the first 15 minutes of play, but the Lightning came up empty in the second period. Less than five minutes into the period, Detroit had already extended its lead to three. The Red Wings were able to score both goals by optimizing on a pair of turnovers by the Lightning.

“We gifted them four goals off turnovers. That can’t happen,” Head Coach Jon Cooper said.

There seemed to be hope for Tampa Bay late in the third period. Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat scored a pair of quick goals to bring the Lightning within one. However, missed opportunities on the power play kept the Bolts from making a comeback. With 20 seconds remaining in the game, Vladislav Namestnikov scored on an empty net to solidify Detroit’s victory.

Looking Ahead

Despite the loss, Steven Stamkos said the Lightning played better than in some of their wins on the six-game road trip. The Bolts took nine of the 12 possible points during the last six games.

“Tonight, the score didn’t indicate where the game was,” Stamkos said.

Tampa Bay returns home to face the Nashville Predators in a two-game set Saturday at 7 p.m. and Monday at 4 p.m.

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