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Johnson, Lightning rally to top Red Wings, even series

by Paul Harris /

DETROIT -- The Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings each can claim they "stole" a game in their Eastern Conference First Round series.

Tyler Johnson scored two goals, including the overtime winner, to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a come-from-behind 3-2 win Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.

Johnson scored from below the left circle off a cross-crease pass from defenseman Victor Hedman on a 3-on-1 rush at 2:25 of overtime to even the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series at 2-2.

"I don't know how we got a 3-on-1, but we did," said Johnson, who has four goals in the series. "[Hedman] had the puck, and I was actually telling him to try and pass it to [Nikita Kucherov] in the high slot because I thought on a 3-on-1 you can get to the middle a little easier. He made an unbelievable play to me, and I was able to get enough on it to get it in there."

Game 5 is Saturday in Tampa (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Tampa Bay trailed 2-0 late in the third period, but Johnson and linemate Ondrej Palat scored 1:17 apart to send the game to overtime.

"Never a doubt, was there?" Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "No, I'm extremely fortunate to have coached Johnson and Palat in the minors and in the NHL. … Those guys took the game over in the last five minutes."

Johnson's first goal of the night, at 14:34 of the third, ended Detroit's shutout streak at 119:04. The Lightning had not scored since Valtteri Filppula's goal with 4:34 left in Game 2.

In Game 1, the Red Wings got 44 saves from goalie Petr Mrazek and came away with a 3-2 victory despite being outshot 46-14.

"I think they stole this game just like we stole Game 1, really," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

A key point Thursday came when Red Wings center Luke Glendening left the game with a cut to his hand from a scuffle with Johnson and Hedman with 7:28 remaining in the third period. Glendening and Hedman each received a roughing minor.

Glendening and linemates Drew Miller and Landon Ferraro had held the Palat-Johnson-Kucherov line in check for most of two games.

"For him not to be around, I'm sure that was a factor," Cooper said of Glendening.

Babcock didn't accept the Glendening injury as reason for the Red Wings to surrender a late two-goal lead.

"It doesn't matter who gets hurt; you've got to play the whole 60 minutes," he said.

Glendening got his hand stitched up, and Babcock thinks he'll be ready for Game 5.

Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop made 22 saves. He allowed second-period goals to Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson.

"They put themselves in a position to win the hockey game, and we knew what we had to do," Cooper said.

Johnson cut in off the left wing and beat Mrazek from the bottom of the left circle to pull Tampa Bay within 2-1. Palat tied it with 4:09 left when he converted Johnson's pass from behind the net. It was Palat's first goal.

Mrazek made 26 saves.

Nyquist opened the scoring 5:42 into the second period with his first career playoff goal when he tapped in Henrik Zetterberg's backhand cross-crease pass.

Andersson made it 2-0 with 5:36 left in the second. Bishop made the save on Andersson's original shot from the high slot. After the puck popped up in the air, Bishop hit it with his stick, and then it went off the crossbar, bounced down onto the ice and trickled into the net just inside the right goal post. Tampa Bay defenseman Jason Garrison tried to clear it out of the crease behind Bishop, but missed the bouncing puck.

"I thought we played good," Babcock said. "I thought we had them in big time trouble until Glendening got hurt. They got energized, and we didn't."

Defenseman Brendan Smith went to the Detroit dressing room 7:45 into the third period after Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman's shot hit him in the jaw/neck area. He was able to return to the game.

Garrison returned to the Tampa Bay lineup after missing the final six games of the regular season and the first three games of the series because of an upper-body injury. The Lightning dressed seven defensemen, opting to scratch rookie center Vladislav Namestnikov.

Tampa Bay left wing Jonathan Drouin, the third pick at the 2013 NHL Draft, made his playoff debut after being a healthy scratch for the first three games. He replaced Brenden Morrow in the lineup and on the fourth line, joining center Brian Boyle and right wing J.T. Brown.

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