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game recap

Power play sparks Lightning past Red Wings

Tampa Bay wins seventh straight at home

by Corey Long / Correspondent

Johnson scores on power play

DET@TBL: Kucherov feeds Johnson for power-play goal

2/3/16: The Lightning play tic-tac-toe on the power play as Nikita Kucherov passes to Tyler Johnson, who buries a goal to make it a 2-1 game

  • 00:53 •


TAMPA -- Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov scored power-play goals to help the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Amalie Arena on Wednesday. 

J.T. Brown scored and Ben Bishop made 24 saves in his 100th victory with Tampa Bay (28-18-4), which has won seven straight at home and nine of its past 10 games. The Lightning grabbed sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division. 

Gustav Nyquist scored for Detroit (25-17-8).

"This was a big game, one of the bigger ones of the year, if not the biggest," Bishop said. "There are a good team, so anytime you can beat them in regulation and take two points it feels good. We're going to enjoy this for a couple of seconds and get ready for Friday (against the Pittsburgh Penguins)."

Johnson's goal at 6:30 in the second period gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead. Kucherov faked a shot sent a cross-ice feed to Johnson at the right circle, where the latter beat Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek with a one-timer to the glove side. 

"Against Detroit, they play such tight hockey," Johnson said. "Five-on-5, there aren't many chances. For us to score on the power play like we did with those two opportunities, that's huge. When you get a lead against a team like that, you can play a little more defense and I thought we did pretty well."

Video: DET@TBL: Bishop gets a piece of Datsyuk's snap shot

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he sees Johnson starting to round into his game after a dealing with a slow start and some injuries this season.

"This isn't as good as I've seen him play, but this was as good as he's been this year," Cooper said. "Since he's come back from his injury, he's taken another step [forward]."

Kucherov scored at 3:23 of the third period when Ondrej Palat recovered a loose puck behind the net and found Kucherov alone in the slot for a wrist shot to give the Lightning a 3-1 lead. 

Brown scored his fifth goal of the season and his second goal in the past three games at 1:23 of the second period. Defenseman Braydon Coburn found Brown open in the slot with a cross-ice pass through traffic and Brown put it past Mrazek at the near post. 

"I kind of put myself behind the net thinking I didn't have much of an option," Brown said. "But [Coburn] found me back door with a pretty good pass."

It was another solid all-around game for Brown, who has found chemistry on a defensive-minded line with Valtteri Filppula and Ryan Callahan. Brown finished plus-1 and had two hits and three takeaways.

Video: DET@TBL: Kucherov's power-play goal extends lead

"First things first, we're out there trying to shut down one of the other's teams top line," Brown said. For the most part, those guys don't want you in their face and being hard on the forecheck."

Detroit tied the game at 5:06 in the second period on Nyquist's goal. Tomas Tatar's wrist shot was saved by Bishop, but Nyquist controlled the rebound and scored on the stick side. 

"Both teams played tight and when you have those games most of the time it comes down to the special teams," Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "And they beat us there [Wednesday]."

Mrazek had 20 saves for the Red Wings, who will play the Florida Panthers on Thursday. 

"I thought Petr played good, he played the puck well," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "Two of the goals were back doors. We've got to score more goals for him."

Video: Bishop leads Lightning to 3-1 win over Red Wings

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