Skip to main content

Headlines

playoffs

Instant analysis: Red Wings vs. Lightning, Game 3

Mrazek, shutting down Johnson line key to Detroit victory

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series Sunday at Joe Louis Arena. The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Andreas Athanasiou and Henrik Zetterberg scored in the second period for the Red Wings, who outshot the Lightning 30-16. Petr Mrazek replaced Jimmy Howard in goal and shut out the Lightning, after shutting them out twice in seven games in the first round last year.

What we learned: The Red Wings can shut down the Tyler Johnson line, at least when they have the last change at home. Coach Jeff Blashill shuffled his lines and put Luke Glendening against Johnson, as his predecessor, Mike Babcock, did last year. Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn combined for seven of the Lightning's eight goals in the first two games, but they not only failed to score in Game 3, they failed to get a shot on goal. They combined for eight penalty minutes.

What this means for the Red Wings: Had the Red Wings lost, they would have faced a 3-0 series deficit and been one loss from four first-round exits in five years. But by winning, they made this a series again and kept the crowd at the Joe energized, setting up Game 4 on Tuesday. They showed they can be a much better team than they were in Games 1 and 2.

Video: TBL@DET, Gm3: Smith shoulders Paquette into corner

What this means for the Lightning: It's only one loss, and they still lead the series 2-1. But now comes the question: Who scores for the Lightning when the Johnson line doesn't? The Steven Stamkos injury (blood clot) didn't seem to affect Games 1 and 2. Now it seems like a factor again.

Key moment: The Red Wings' second goal counted after not one but two video reviews. As defenseman Mike Green shot from the left point, his stick broke. The puck flew to the end boards; his stick blade flew at Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop. Bishop made contact with Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin to the left side of the net. After the puck bounced in front, Bishop reached back and stopped it in the crease with his stick blade. Zetterberg tried to poke in the puck as he crashed the net, but Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison cleared the puck - off Zetterberg's right skate. The puck ricocheted past Bishop and into the net amid the chaos. First, NHL Hockey Operations ruled there was no distinct kicking motion. Then, Lightning coach Jon Cooper challenged goalie interference, and the referees upheld the goal. That gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead with 2:38 left in the second period.

Video: TBL@DET, Gm3: Zetterberg's deflection doubles lead

Unsung player of the game: Lightning forward Ryan Callahan blocked three shots during a 59-second two-man advantage for the Red Wings in the first period. The Red Wings held the puck in the Tampa Bay end the entire time, but they struggled to find shooting lanes to the frustration of the crowd and got only two pucks to Bishop, thanks to Callahan, center Brian Boyle and defenseman Jason Garrison.

What's next: Game 4 is Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m.; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS2, FS-D, FS-F). Win, and the Red Wings guarantee this series will be what most expected: long.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.