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Five keys for Red Wings vs. Lightning, Game 5

Detroit must solve Tampa Bay's Bishop in what could be Datsyuk's final NHL game

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

TAMPA - The Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning play Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Amalie Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2, SUN, FS-D). The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 3-1.

Here are five keys for Game 5:

1. Believe: If you're the Red Wings, ignore that teams facing 3-1 deficits have won Stanley Cup Playoff series less than 10 percent of the time. Ignore that you're on the road, where you lost the first two games by an 8-4 margin. Focus on the fact you won Game 3 - dominated it, really - and each of the other three games was tied in the third period.

"That's how these series go sometimes," Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser said. "It's just a chance here, a chance there."

2. End it: If you're the Lightning, ignore that the odds are in your favor and you have three chances to win one game. Last year, you went seven with the Red Wings in the first round; took a 3-0 series lead against the Montreal Canadiens but needed six to eliminate them in the second; and had a chance to eliminate the New York Rangers in six but needed seven to defeat them in the Eastern Conference Final. It might have caught up with you in the Stanley Cup Final, which you lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six.

Asked to rate rest as a motivating factor on a scale of 1 to 10, Lightning coach John Cooper said: "Ten."

Later, he added: "It's just the wear and tear. Any chance in the playoffs you can get a break, you want to take advantage of it."

3. Break Bishop: Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop has allowed two goals in each game and posted a .937 save percentage in the series. He has allowed only three goals on clean shots. The Red Wings feel they have played well 5-on-5 but haven't produced enough, and they are 1-for-21 on the power play.

"That's not good enough, obviously," said forward Gustav Nyquist, who scored his second goal in 21 games in Game 4 for the Red Wings, who ranked 23rd in goals in the regular season. "It's been like that over most of the season. We've had trouble scoring, and that's on me, and that's on a lot of the guys in there. We want to be a deep team. We feel like a lot of lines can score. But the puck just hasn't gone in for us."

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

4. Apply pressure: The Lightning hounded the Red Wings on the forecheck in the first two games, forcing them to make mistakes and turn over the puck. It led directly to the winning goal in the third period of Game 1, when Nikita Kucherov swiped the puck from Darren Helm deep in the Detroit zone.

"They have good energy at home," DeKeyser said. "They seem to play with maybe a little more jump than on the road. We've got to be sharper with the puck and making sure that we're helping each other out to get the puck out of the zone, because we know that they're going to come hard."

5: Conjure magic: This could be the final NHL game for Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, the Magic Man, who plans to return home to Russia after this season. Datsyuk, 37, has zero points in this series. But the Red Wings keep track of scoring-chance differential internally, and coach Jeff Blashill said Datsyuk ranks first on the team.

"So from a process standpoint, Pavel's done a good job," Blashill said. "I think we'd like a little more production throughout our lineup. We'd like to score more than two goals tonight. We'll need multiple guys to have lots of chances to be able to do it, and he's one of them."

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