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game recap

Johnson leads Lightning to Game 2 win vs. Red Wings

Forward's four points ties team playoff record; Tampa Bay takes 2-0 series lead

by Corey Long / Correspondent

TAMPA - Tyler Johnson scored twice and had two assists to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Amalie Arena on Friday.

Tampa Bay has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 3 will be Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

Johnson has six points (two goals, four assists) in the first two games of the series. Last year Johnson had six goals and an assist against the Red Wings in the first-round series that the Lightning won in seven games. His four points Friday matched a team record for most points in a Stanley Cup Playoff game with Vincent Lecavalier, who had a goal and three assists against the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final on May 17, 2011.

"I'm just happy he's on our bench," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We're learning that last year's playoffs were not a fluke. It's two games and that line has been fabulous for us."

Video: DET@TBL, Gm2: Johnson finds the net twice in win

Nikita Kucherov, Brian Boyle, Alex Killorn also scored, and Ben Bishop made 30 saves for the Lightning. 

The line of Johnson, Killorn and Kucherov has combined for 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in the first two games.

"They scored three...I don't maybe four," Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "They are dangerous, especially when you give them odd man rushes."

Brad Richards and Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings, who have lost their last five games at Amalie Arena.

Video: DET@TBL, Gm2: Richards goes top-shelf to tie game

Johnson's first goal gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead 6:32 into the third period. Killorn controlled the puck in the zone, went behind the net and Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard followed him. Killorn found Johnson in front of an open net for the tip-in. 

Kucherov set up Johnson's second goal at 14:48 of the third with a pass into the slot, and Johnson scored on the one-timer to make it 4-2. 

"I play with great players and I'm happy they we are clicking right now," Johnson said. "It's the playoffs. You have to fight for your space and those were tough passes to set me up and those guys are able to make them."

Killorn added an empty-net goal with 2:44 remaining.

Kucherov gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 15:17 of the first period with his third goal of the playoffs.

Tampa Bay had a 5-on-3 advantage after Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader were called for two-minute minors 27 seconds apart. Victor Hedman found Kucherov open in the right circle and he scored on a one-timer past Howard.

Video: DET@TBL, Gm2: Kucherov blisters a one-timer for PPG

"It's fun to watch, [Kucherov] has got an extra step for sure," Boyle said. "The patience that Kucherov had on that one-timer. That's a pretty goal, that's one you like to draw up and watch. He's got a lot of heart. He's a huge part of our team right now."

Detroit tied the game 1-1 at 3:30 of the second period when Larkin took a cleared puck off the end boards, had a 1-on-1 with Bishop, and beat him with a shot through the five hole.

"We threw pucks at [Bishop] and had some chances [Friday]," Zetterberg said. "He's a big goalie and you just have to get in front of him. But we were in the box too much again. Even though we got one on the [power play], we need to be better there. Otherwise it's a tight game again."

The Lightning regained the lead 2-1 when Jonathan Drouin started a 3-on-2 rush and made a backhand pass to Boyle in the slot, who beat Howard on the stick side. It was Drouin's first NHL playoff point.

"That's what he does," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Drouin. "A wonderful pass and he sees the ice so well. He knew exactly where [Boyle] was going to be and put it right on the stick."

Video: DET@TBL, Gm2: Doruin sets up Boyle for the lead

Richards tied the game at 2-2 on a power-play goal 4:27 into the third period. Sheahan won a faceoff and Mike Green got the puck to Richards, who scored on a wrist shot outside the circle to the near post of Bishop with Sheahan providing the screen.

"We got one to tie it in the third and things are going our way," Howard said. "Then they score and it's a momentum shift. We've got to take care of business at home."

Howard made 26 saves.

"My number one focus is on us playing good hockey to win hockey games," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We've got to make sure that we play with great intensity. I know from our perspective, we've got to make sure we do a better job of controlling our emotions and concentrating on the things it takes to win hockey games."

Video: Johnson's four-point night powers Lightning in Game 2

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