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Red Wings, Lightning each chasing momentum

by Paul Harris /

LIGHTNING (6-5-2) at RED WINGS (5-5-1)


DETROIT -- When the Detroit Red Wings play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday, each will be looking to win consecutive games for the first time since the start of the season.

Detroit and Tampa Bay each won its first three games of 2015-16 and have struggled since, but are coming off wins.

The Red Wings (5-5-1) defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-3 on Saturday at the Canadian Tire Center and the Lightning (6-5-2) defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 at PNC Arena on Monday.

It will be the second game between the teams; Detroit won 3-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 13.

"We were here two weeks ago and we were both undefeated, now we've got five losses each," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "I don't know if either team has made any strides."

"I think momentum is a big thing," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I'm sure Tampa's talking about the same thing. When you haven't had momentum you want to try to keep the little bit of momentum that you have.”

Cooper shook up his lines in the final two periods against Carolina and those changes remain for Tuesday. The biggest is flip-flopping usual first-line left wing Alex Killorn with second-line left wing Ondrej Palat.

That breaks up what was considered by many to be the NHL's best line of last season, Tyler Johnson centering Palat and Nikita Kucherov.

"It's 2015-16, not 2014-15, and the way our identity as a team is coming together is different from the way it came together last year," Cooper said.

Johnson scored his first goal of the season in the win against the Hurricanes.

Detroit is focusing on trying to play in the Lightning's zone as much as possible.

"Their forwards are so deadly," Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said. "They got four lines that can go. Pretty much just make them play in their own end."

These are the projected lineups:


Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Brian Boyle - Valtteri Filppula - Erik Condra

Tye McGinn - Vladislav Namestnikov - J.T. Brown

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Matt Carle - Jason Garrison

Andrej Sustr - Braydon Coburn

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov

Injured: Jonathan Drouin (lower body), Cedric Paquette (ankle)


Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Dylan Larkin

Tomas Tatar - Riley Sheahan - Gustav Nyquist

Joakim Andersson - Darren Helm - Teemu Pulkkinen

Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Landon Ferraro

Niklas Kronwall - Brendan Smith

Danny DeKeyser - Jonathan Ericsson

Jakub Kindl - Alexey Marchenko

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Tomas Jurco

Injured: Pavel Datsyuk (ankle), Johan Franzen (concussion-like symptoms), Brad Richards (back), Mike Green (shoulder), Kyle Quincey (concussion protocol)

Status report: Cooper said Drouin and Paquette may be able to return either Thursday at the Buffalo Sabres or Saturday at the Minnesota Wild. … Detroit's only lineup change from Saturday is Howard staring in goal.

Who's hot: Kucherov has a goal and two assists in the past two games. … Nyquist has a goal and two assists in the past two games.

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