Skip to main content
game recap

Lightning keep pace in Eastern wild-card chase

Short one skater, defeat Red Wings for fourth win in row

by Corey Long / Correspondent

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning remained three points behind the second Eastern Conference wild card with a 5-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

The Lightning (38-29-9) won their fourth straight game and trail the Boston Bruins for the final Eastern berth into the Stanley Cup Playoffs with one game in hand. Boston defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0.

J.T. Brown, Andrej Sustr, Alex Killorn, Jonathan Drouin and Yanni Gourde scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves.


WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Lightning highlights


Tampa Bay played with 17 skaters (11 forwards, six defensemen) after forward Nikita Kucherov was scratched because he was ill.

"[Kucherov] has been so good for us in all these games throughout the season, and when he comes down with something we need to step up and help him out," Killorn said. "I think we have done a good job off stepping up thorough this stretch with guys being injured."

Video: DET@TBL: Brown beats Mrazek over the glove

Frans Nielsen, Danny DeKeyser and Mike Green scored for Detroit (31-34-12). Petr Mrazek made 26 saves.

Killorn scored his 18th goal of the season on the power play to give the Lightning a 3-2 lead at 16:13 of the second period. He took a shot from the left faceoff circle that Mrazek saved but DeKeyser accidentally chipped into the net while trying to clear.

Drouin scored a power-play goal at 18:04 of the second period for a 4-2 lead.

Nielsen scored his first goal in the past 10 games to give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 4:22 of the first period. Darren Helm made a centering pass from behind the net to set up the goal.

Video: DET@TBL: Sustr crashes net, beats Mrazek

"I think we played OK," Nielsen said. "We made mistakes with the puck and gave up too many scoring chances where [Mrazek] had to make a big save. As soon as we got the puck down their end, we did some good stuff and created chances."

Brown tied it 1-1 at 18:58 of the first when his shot from the right circle beat Mrazek top shelf. It was Brown's first goal in the past 46 games.

"Definitely felt good; it's been a while," said Brown, who has three this season. "I have to give credit [my linemates], they made it pretty easy for me."

Sustr gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead at 2:22 of the second period when scored on a rebound off a shot from Ondrej Palat.

DeKeyser tied it 2-2 at 12:46 when his slap shot from the point deflected off Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin past Vasilevskiy. Henrik Zetterberg had an assist for his 900th NHL point.

Video: DET@TBL: Gourde grabs loose puck, beats Mrazek

"Obviously I have to give credit to all the players I've played with," Zetterberg said. "First I've played a lot of games (995) and I've played a lot of games with great players."

Gourde gave the Lightning a 5-2 lead at 6:03 of the third period. Green made it 5-3 with a power-play goal at 8:18.


Goal of the game

Helm's centering pass split Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov and defenseman Anton Stralman to find Nielsen with a clear look at an open net.

Video: DET@TBL: Nielsen finishes Helm's dish for early goal

Save of the game

Mrazek turned away Brayden Point with his pad and stick on a 1-on-1 opportunity at the hash mark at 15:26 of the third period.

Video: DET@TBL: Mrazek stretches to rob Point in front

Unsung performance of the game

Lightning forward Gabriel Dumont was plus-1 with an assist, three hits and one blocked shot. He won eight of 11 faceoffs.


Highlight of the game

Drouin went end-to-end and stickhandled his way through four penalty killers before putting a wrist shot past Mrazek.

"He makes big plays at big times," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We've needed it. Guys like [Jonathan] have to step up and he's done an unreal job."

Video: DET@TBL: Drouin cuts through defense, nets a PPG

They said it

"I didn't think we had enough guys ready to go from the drop of the puck. We certainly had some that were competitive, but we had too many guys not have their 'A' or 'B' games." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill


"I think it's nice to see them get rewarded. I think, for [Brown], I think he said it was 46 games. It's always nice. Those guys do so much more than scoring for us. When they can get a goal and they can chip in, it's huge." -- Lightning forward Alex Killorn on J.T. Brown and Andrej Sustr scoring


Need to know

Victor Hedman had an assist to set the single-season record for points by a Lightning defenseman. He has 66 points (15 goals, 51 assists), one more than Roman Hamrlik had in 1995-96 (16 goals, 49 assists). ... Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha left the game after fighting Luke Witkowski at 3:47 of the first period. FOX Sports Detroit reported he has a broken finger and is out for the final five games. ... Sustr's goal song was "Oops! ... I Did It Again" by Britney Spears to poke fun at the rare times the defenseman scores. "We were joking about it and it was the first thing that came to my mind for some reason," Sustr said. "It seemed like everyone enjoyed it."


What's next

Red Wings: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CITY, TVA Sports, SUN, NHL.TV)


Video: Three-goal 2nd powers Lightning past Red Wings, 5-3

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.