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Instant analysis: Lightning vs. Red Wings, Game 2

Tampa Bay line of Johnson, Kucherov, Killorn too much for Detroit to handle

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Amalie Arena on Friday. The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

Tyler Johnson scored two third-period goals for Tampa Bay after Brad Richards tied the game 2-2 for Detroit on the power play. Nikita Kucherov, Brian Boyle and Alex Killorn (empty net) also scored for the Lightning. Dylan Larkin, 19, became the first teenager to score a playoff goal for the Red Wings since Keith Primeau in 1991.

What we learned: The Red Wings cannot stop the line of Johnson, Kucherov and Killorn. Johnson had six goals and seven points in the teams' seven-game first-round series last year; he has two goals and six points through these two games. Kucherov has three goals and five points. Two of his goals have come on one-timers from the right circle: on the rush in Game 1, on a 5-on-3 power play in Game 2. Killorn has two goals and four points.

Video: DET@TBL, Gm2: Johnson nets his second of the night

What this means for the Red Wings: Detroit must defend home ice when the series shifts to Joe Louis Arena, and not only must they find a way to contain Johnson and Kucherov, they must get their scorers scoring. Henrik Zetterberg has no goals in 13 games, one in 26. Pavel Datsyuk has no goals in 12 games. Gustav Nyquist has one in 19. Tomas Tatar has one in 12.

What this means for the Lightning: Even though captain Steve Stamkos (blood clot) and defenseman Anton Stralman (fibula) are out, Tampa Bay has jumped on a team that took them the distance in the first round last year, when Stamkos and Stralman were healthy. The Lightning have plenty of speed and skill, especially on their top line, and cause lots of problems for the Red Wings on the rush and on the forecheck.

Key moment: After Richards tied the game early in the third, Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson coughed up the puck to Johnson at the Detroit blue line. Johnson passed behind his back to Killorn, who raced ahead, wrapped around the Detroit net and threw the puck in front. With Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard out of position and three defenders in the area, Johnson tapped the puck in the net and scored what would be the winning goal.

Video: DET@TBL, Gm2: Johnson puts Lightning ahead in the 3rd

Unsung player of the game: Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman doesn't have his usual partner, Stralman, but has continued to make a big impact with his skill and skating ability. He played 24:00 in Game 2, leading Lightning skaters again after playing 29:26 in Game 1.

What's next: Game 3 is at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports, FS-D, SUN). The pressure is on the Red Wings, who could lose in the first round for the fourth time in five years.

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