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Red Wings searching for more shots in Game 3

by Paul Harris /

DETROIT – No matter how well or badly the Detroit Red Wings were playing during the 2014-15 regular season, they typically outshot their opponents.

But that hasn't been the case during the first two games of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which is tied 1-1, going into Game 3 on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, FS-F, FS-D) at Joe Louis Arena.

Tampa Bay has outshot Detroit by a combined 76-38, mostly on the strength of a 46-14 advantage in Game 1, when the Red Wings' Petr Mrazek made 44 saves in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut and allowed Detroit to escape with a 3-2 win.

The Lightning had a 30-24 edge Saturday in their 5-1 win.

"In Game 2, I thought we played a better game than in Game 1. I thought we spent more time in their zone, created more chances but lost even though we played better," Red Wings right wing Gustav Nyquist said. "It's a best-of-5 series right now. We can't look back. We're done with those two games."

Detroit coach Mike Babcock says his team isn't playing up to its potential.

"We have a lot more to give. We're two games in and we're 1-1, we have a lot more to give," he said.

Center Luke Glendening said it's all about defense.

"We need to take care of our own end first and then play more in their zone and clean up some things we did on Saturday," Glendening said. "I think it all starts defensively. If we take care of our own end things will take care of themselves, we'll be in position to create offense. Not if you're trying to cheat defensively to create offense."

Nyquist said there are also a few things the Red Wings can improve upon offensively.

"Get on their D. We were better at that in Game 2. I thought we spent more time in their zone circling," Nyquist said. "It's all about getting on the inside and getting in front of [Tampa Bay goalie Ben] Bishop so he can't see the puck. Try to get pucks through and try to get rebounds."

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall had an even simpler suggestion.

"[We need to] eliminate the mistakes we made in Game 2 and make sure the pucks go in [the other team's zone] and make sure they go in deep," he said.

Detroit will get forward Justin Abdelkder back in Game 3. He missed the past four games of the regular season and the first two games of the series with a hand injury.

Abdelkader's return should help alleviate the shots on goal disadvantage. He is a big (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) physical wing who scored a career-high 23 goals during the regular season.

"[Abdelkader's] a competitor. He's a guy that's good at the net. He plays hard. He competes hard. I'm sure he'll be ready to go," Babcock said. "When he gets the puck and he has a chance he shoots it in the net. He doesn't dump it on the goalie and forecheck."

He is expected to replace Stephen Weiss on the active roster and slot next to Henrik Zetterberg on the team's new-look second line.

"I think my game is really suited for the playoffs and I can help the team," Abdelkader said. "… I know what my job is out there."

Another lineup change will be defenseman Brendan Smith going back in after being benched for three games.

Smith skates and moves the puck well and could help the Red Wings get out of their own zone quicker and more efficiently.

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