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game recap

Alex Killorn, Lightning defeat Red Wings

Tampa Bay forward scores game-winner on power play in third period

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning scored four goals in the third period to rally for a 6-4 win against the Detroit Red Wings in the season opener for each team at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Tyler Johnson, Valtteri Filppula, Jonathan Drouin, Cedric Paquette, Alex Killorn and Brian Boyle scored for the Lightning, who trailed 2-0 after the first period and 3-1 in the second. Ben Bishop made 28 saves.

Johnson scored five seconds into a power play at 8:34 of the third period to give Tampa Bay its first lead at 4-3. Steven Stamkos took control of the puck at the point and found Johnson down low in the slot. Johnson redirected it past goalie Petr Mrazek.

Killorn scored the game-winning goal on the power play at 16:50 to give the Lightning a 5-3 lead. Drouin passed from the left circle onto Killorn's stick for a tip past Mrazek.

Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser made it 5-4 with 2:05 remaining when his dump-in from center ice hit the top of the glass in the corner and took a bad bounce past Bishop.

Video: DET@TBL: Drouin snipes power-play goal off crossbar

Filppula scored into an empty net with 1:21 left.

"One of the areas of our team where we've really grown since I've been here is the calm on the bench," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We felt like we were playing good. If we just kept going and keep pushing."

Thomas Vanek scored two goals and Frans Nielsen had one for Detroit. Each player signed as a free agent in the offseason.

"Lots of self-inflicted wounds," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "You can't give up easy opportunities. You score three and that game should go to overtime at the least."

Vanek scored his first goal at 3:12 in the first period with the Red Wings on the power play when he was able to get in front of the net and push a loose puck past Bishop.

He gave Detroit a 2-0 lead at 8:26 of the first when he capitalized on a turnover by Tampa Bay defenseman Nikita Nesterov and beat Bishop with a wrist shot on the stick side.

Tampa Bay got on the board at 7:23 of the second period when Drouin scored a power-play goal to make it 2-1. Nielsen answered 55 seconds later after Bishop failed to control a save with his glove, putting the Red Wings up 3-1.

Paquette scored at 13:05 of the second to make it 3-2. Mrazek couldn't get a clean read on his sharp-angled shot, and it went right between his pads.

Boyle tied it 3:17 into the third period after he got control of the puck and broke into the Detroit zone with J.T. Brown for a 2-on-1 rush. Boyle took the shot and beat Mrazek top shelf on the near post.

Mrazek made 30 saves.

 

Goal of the game

Killorn's power-play goal to give the Lightning a 5-3 lead was a showcase of Drouin's playmaking abilities. He skated to his comfort spot at the top of the right circle and put a pass right on Killorn's stick. All Killorn had to do was tip it in the open part of the net.

Video: DET@TBL: Killorn redirects PPG on feed from Drouin

 

Save of the game

Mrazek robbed Stamkos at 10:53 of the second period with a full sprawling save. Stamkos was trying to finish a 2-on-1 with Drouin providing a perfect setup pass. "He knows that he's a good goalie," Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "He knows he played well."

Video: DET@TBL: Mrazek sprawls for amazing pad save in 2nd

 

Unsung moment of the game

Paquette's work in the defensive zone leading to Boyle's goal was an example of the type of player he says he wants to be this season. He battled and won the puck down low off the boards and made the pass to Boyle that started the play the other way. Brown joined in to make it a 2-on-1, but Boyle opted for the shot and tied it 3-3.

Video: DET@TBL: Boyle roofs goal on rush to even game at 3

 

Highlight of the game

Johnson's power-play goal gave the Lightning their first lead. Stamkos got the puck at the point in a position where he might normally shoot, but he instead passed to Johnson for a redirection. "That one was right off my stick," Johnson said. "[Stamkos] made sure I didn't have to do much there."

Video: DET@TBL: Johnson redirects PPG, puts Bolts on top

 

They said it

"I'm definitely more of a passer than a shooter. I can see the ice at that spot, and it's a quick pass that I can make right away." -- Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on his assist on Alex Killorn's game-winning goal

"He had that goal there from a sharp angle; it was a great shot. But all game he was out there contributing, doing things, hitting …. just kind of being a pest out there and that's his game." -- Lightning forward Tyler Johnson on Cedric Paquette

"The first period was good, and then after that too many mistakes and too many penalties. [The Lightning] are the best team in the East, in my opinion, and you give them power-play opportunities, and they were able to slowly shift things their way." -- Red Wings forward Thomas Vanek

 

Need to know

It took Johnson 13 games to score his first goal last season. …Vanek has 27 goals in 41 career regular-season games against the Lightning, the second-most he has against any team (31 in 59 games against the Boston Bruins).

 

What's next

Red Wings: At the Florida Panthers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Home against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

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