RED WINGS (43-25-14) at LIGHTNING (50-24-8)
TV: CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, FS-D, FS-F
Season series: The Tampa Bay Lightning won three of four against the Detroit Red Wings, led by four goals from forward Steven Stamkos, three goals from forward Cedric Paquette and the goaltending of Ben Bishop, who had a 1.97 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. The Red Wings got two goals and four points from forward Gustav Nyquist. Goalie Petr Mrazek had a 28-save shutout in the most recent game on March 28.
Red Wings team scope: Mrazek will get his first taste of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when he makes the Game 1 start. "Stay focused, stay positive, and be strong in the crease," Mrazek said about his mentality in comments tweeted by the Red Wings. Forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg were reunited as linemates Wednesday, according to MLive.com, skating with forward Darren Helm. Forward Justin Abdelkader, who hasn't played since sustaining a hand injury in an April 4 game, skated in a non-contact jersey and did not have a line. He is questionable. Coach Mike Babcock said he would play Datsyuk and Zetterberg together unless Abdelkader is able to return. The Red Wings went 7-10-3 over their final 20 games of the regular season. "When we had things going during the West Coast trips, we played the game we wanted," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "We got to get back to doing that every game."
Lightning team scope: Coach Jon Cooper said Wednesday it looked promising Tampa Bay would get most of its injured players back for the series opener. That includes defenseman Braydon Coburn, who has missed the past month with a lower-body injury. "I would expect him to be in there," Cooper said in comments tweeted by the Lightning. Forward Alex Killorn (undisclosed) and defenseman Andrej Sustr (upper body) practiced in regular jerseys, and defenseman Jason Garrison also shed his non-contact jersey for the first time since an upper-body injury sustained March 28 against Detroit knocked him out of the lineup. Garrison isn't expected to be ready for Game 1. He was paired with Mark Barberio, which could indicate that Barberio will come out of the lineup if Coburn returns. Goalie Ben Bishop will make his playoff debut after missing last season's Eastern Conference First Round sweep by the Montreal Canadiens because of injury. Bishop finished the regular season on a 4-0-1 run.