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Instant analysis: Red Wings vs. Lightning, Game 1

Detroit misses chance to steal opener; Drouin makes his mark

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series on Wednesday at Amalie Arena.

Alex Killorn scored the winner 8:52 into the third period, deflecting the puck out of midair after Tyler Johnson threw it in front from the right wing. The goal came shortly after what would have been a go-ahead goal by Victor Hedman was disallowed because the play was offside.

What we learned: The Red Wings need to get off the perimeter to succeed against Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop. In the first period, they fired pucks from long range. They made it easy on Bishop, and Bishop made it look easy. But in the second, they got traffic in front and scored twice. Mike Green shot from the right point, and with traffic in the slot, the puck eluded Bishop stick-side. Shortly afterward, Kyle Quincey shot from the right point.

Justin Abdelkader tried to deflect the puck and got credit for the goal. It appeared to go in off Hedman.

Video: DET@TBL, Gm1: Bishop stops Green, robs Richards

What this means for the Red Wings: The Red Wings wasted an opportunity to take a 1-0 series lead and gain home-ice advantage. They had the puck much of the first two periods but fell apart in the third. If not for goaltender Jimmy Howard, it would have been worse. Their top players need to score.

Video: DET@TBL, Gm1: Abdelkader tips home Quincey's shot

What this means for the Lightning: For the second time in six tries under coach Jon Cooper, the Lightning took a 1-0 series lead. They know it's only one game. They lost Game 1 to the Red Wings in the first round last year and won the series. They did it again against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final.

Video: DET@TBL, Gm1: Howard denies Drouin and Callahan

Key moment: Hedman fired a rocket past Howard into the upper left corner of the net and it seemed he had given the Lightning a 3-2 lead 6:55 into the third period. But Blashill challenged. Replays showed Jonathan Drouin had dished the puck to his left to Valtteri Filppula on the rush and, by inches, beat the puck over the blue line. The play was offside and the goal was disallowed.

Unsung player of the game: Drouin ended up with no points, four penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating. But he was noticeable all night, making plays at even strength and on the power play, taking three shots in 18:09 of ice time. That's a good sign after all the drama in the regular season. Talent was never the issue for the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. If he can earn Cooper's trust, he can make an impact and help make up for the absence of Steven Stamkos.

What's next: Game 2 is Friday at Amalie Arena (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports, FS-F, FS-D). It could be chippy. There were a couple of scrums in the second period Wednesday, one after Killorn sent Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin flying, and there was another after the final horn.

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