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Palat gives Lightning Game 4 win

Goal with 2:59 left against Red Wings pushes series lead to 3-1

by Paul Harris / NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Ondrej Palat scored a power-play goal with 2:59 left in the third period to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.

Tampa Bay leads the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series 3-1. Game 5 is Thursday at Amalie Arena in Tampa (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2, FS-D, SUN).

All of the Lightning goals came on the power play, in five chances. Nikita Kucherov scored twice.

"Power plays are always big in the playoffs," Palat said. "It has gotten a lot better. We practiced on it yesterday."

Video: TBL@DET, Gm4: Palat deflects go-ahead PPG past Mrazek

Tampa Bay's power play was 1-for-14 in the first three games.

"We didn't really have a ton of chances to work on the power play," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We switched our units a bit and we put the puck in the hands of guys who know what to do with it."

Detroit was 0-for-4 on the power play and is 1-for-21 for the series. The Red Wings' best chance Tuesday was when Dylan Larkin hit the post from in front with 7:23 left in the third period and the game tied 2-2.

"At some point, special teams are going to affect a series and they did tonight," Cooper said.

Video: TBL@DET, Gm4: Nyquist buries Sheahan's feed

Kucherov had an assist and has five goals and eight points in the series. Jonathan Drouin had three assists, and Ben Bishop made 26 saves for Tampa Bay.

Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist scored, and Petr Mrazek made 30 saves for Detroit.

"We obviously lost the game on special teams, both the power play and the penalty kill," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We'd like to stay out of the box more than that. The fact that they punished us is what I'm most concerned with."

Palat tipped in Drouin's pass for his first goal of the series with Jonathan Ericsson in the penalty box for crosschecking.

"Fake shot, he gave to me and I had an open net," Palat said.

Video: TBL@DET, Gm4: Kucherov scores a pair in Detroit

The Red Wings scored twice in the final six minutes of the second period to tie the game. Helm made it 2-1 with 5:07 left when he put in a loose puck from the crease. It was his first goal of the series.

Nyquist tied it with 10 seconds left. He one-timed a shot past Bishop from below the right circle off a pass from Riley Sheahan. It was Nyquist's first goal of the playoffs and fourth goal in 34 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"I think it got us back on track there for a little bit. It would have been nice to feed off that big second-period finish that we had, going into the third," Helm said. "It would have been nice if we kept that momentum going a little bit harder and thrown a few more pucks at the net and been able to score one. That didn't happen tonight."

Tampa Bay can end the series Thursday. The Lightning needed seven games to eliminate the Red Wings in the first round last year.

"When you have a chance to win a series at home, you want to do it," Cooper said. "It's rest, travel, jumping on a plane, more hotels, that's the part that wears on you."

Video: TBL@DET, Gm4: Helm bangs home loose puck

Kucherov's power-play goal 5:41 into the first period gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead. He beat Mrazek on the short side with a one-timer from the right faceoff dot after a pass from Tyler Johnson. The goal came nine seconds after Justin Abdelkader went off for holding.

Kucherov's second power-play goal made it 2-0 with 9:29 left. He put in a one-time shot from the slot.

The Lightning had 14 shots in the first period after 16 in all of Game 3, a 2-0 loss Sunday.

Tampa Bay used 11 forwards and seven defensemen; defenseman Matt Taormina replaced forward Erik Condra in the lineup.

Video: Palat's late goal powers Bolts past Wings in Game 4

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