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Lightning focused on creating more offense in Game 6

by Paul Harris /

DETROIT -- The Tampa Bay Lightning know that they will have to fight through clutching and grabbing they perceive the Detroit Red Wings are employing to stave off elimination in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CNBC, TVA Sports, FS-F, FS-D).

Tampa Bay is down 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.

But Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper backed off his comments Sunday that Detroit interferes more than any team in the NHL.

"There are eight playoff series," Cooper said Monday. "I'm sure what goes on in our series is going on in the rest of them. Fight through it, boys. ... And the guys in stripes could call one. But other than that you have to fight through it. It's the playoffs."

The Lightning were the highest-scoring team in the NHL in the regular season but have three goals in the past three games, and have been shut out twice.

"They're a very smart team," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "They know what they can get away with and they know what they can't. They're playing good. They're doing some things that are making it tough for us. … We have to find a way to dig down."

Said Cooper: "You can't avoid it. Because if you're going to avoid contact you're not going to get to the net and that's where you have to get. We need a puck to go off somebody's butt in the net or something like that. I've watched a few goals on their side, pucks go off legs."

The Lightning need to win to force Game 7, which would be Wednesday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

"Our backs are against the wall," center Tyler Johnson said. "It's do or die. So if you don't have some desperation in your game there's something wrong."

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Killorn - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Vladislav Namestnikov - Valtteri Filppula - Cedric Paquette

Brenden Morrow - Brian Boyle - J.T. Brown

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Braydon Coburn

Matt Carle - Andrej Sustr

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Mark Barberio, Jonathan Drouin, Nikita Nesterov

Injured: None


Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Tomas Tatar

Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist

Joakim Andersson - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Jurco

Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Landon Ferraro

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Danny DeKeyser - Kyle Quincey

Brendan Smith - Marek Zidlicky

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Scratched: Daniel Cleary, Stephen Weiss, Jakub Kindl, Alexey Marchenko

Injured: Erik Cole (spinal contusion), Johan Franzen (concussion)

Status report: With Game 6 at Joe Louis Arena and Detroit coach Mike Babcock having the last change, Johnson, Palat and Kucherov likely will be facing the Red Wings' fourth line of Glendening, Miller and Ferraro.

Who's hot: Johnson had two goals and an assist in Game 4.

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