Here are the key takeaways from one of the more memorable games so far this season.
Congratulations to Eddie Pasquale, who, at 28 years of age and after 235 games in the AHL, earned his first NHL win in his first NHL start. He had to contend with some dangerous chances that resulted in five Detroit goals. But he also provided the Lightning with some important situational saves. He denied a partial breakaway for Andreas Athanasiou in the first period, stopped a wide-open look for Gus Nyquist in overtime and made saves on Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek in the shootout.
The Lightning had to rally from deficits of 2-0, 3-2 and 5-3. That's not an ideal script at any time and it's especially tough in the second half of a back-to-back against a rested opponent. But the Lightning's win over New Jersey on Monday was a game in which Jon Cooper could efficiently manage his players' minutes. That may have helped tonight, as the Lightning needed to expend a lot of energy to battle back on multiple occasions.
Battle back they did. The Lightning thoroughly controlled play after the first period. In the final 45 minutes (second, third and overtime), the Lightning outshot the Red Wings, 30-12. Shot attempts were a whopping 51-19 in favor of Tampa Bay. The Lightning were very hard on pucks, committed to winning puck battles and owned most of the possession time after the first period. The fact that they clearly had a lot of gas left in the tank after the Jersey game is a credit to how well Cooper worked his bench on Monday night.
The Lightning's scoring depth once again was on display. The Bolts netted five goals, but both Nikita Kucherov (10-game streak) and Brayden Point (six-game streak) didn't record a point and saw their long streaks come to an end. Mathieu Joseph tied a career-high with two goals and three points. He finished with a plus four rating. Cedric Paquette scored a key shorthanded goal, J.T. Miller recorded an important third period tally and Ryan Callahan contributed two assists.
There weren't a lot of penalties called in this game - each team received only two power play chances and one of those for the Lightning came in the final 30 seconds of overtime. But the Lightning's penalty kill impacted the game. On the first kill, which began with 5:58 remaining in the third period and the Lightning trailing, 5-4, Paquette scored a shorthanded goal and the Lightning killed off the rest of the infraction. The second kill started with only 1:10 left in regulation. But the Lightning killed off those final 70 seconds to ensure they'd pick up at least one point, then they got through the first 50 seconds of overtime when it became a dangerous four-on-three power play for Detroit.
The Lightning swept the three-game road trip, rallying from big deficits in two of them. They've scored five goals in each of their last four contests and in five of the past six. Now they head back to Tampa to begin a four-game homestand on Thursday against the Boston Bruins. It's the first meeting between the clubs since their second round playoff series last spring.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
- Mathieu Joseph - Lightning. Two goals and assist. Plus four.
- Mikhail Sergachev - Lightning. Assist.
- Frans Nielsen - Red Wings. Hat trick.