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game recap

Lightning tied for first after win against Red Wings

Tampa Bay, Florida even in Atlantic Division standings

by Corey Long / Correspondent

TAMPA -- Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist to help the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 at Amalie Arena on Tuesday. 

Erik Condra, Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat scored for the Lightning (42-26-5), who moved into a first-place tie in the Atlantic Division with the Florida Panthers. Each team has nine games remaining.

Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm scored for the Red Wings (36-26-11), who are tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Flyers lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Columbus Blue Jackets but have a game in hand on Detroit. 

"It was a full team effort and we want to play well at home," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. "It was a tough road trip for us (2-2-0), but we had a couple days off to refocus and we came out strong."

Video: DET@TBL: Stamkos banks one in off a skate in front

Stamkos scored his 34th goal of the season 33 seconds into the second period to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead. He was directing the play behind the net and tried to get a centering pass to Alex Killorn, but the puck deflected off Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson into the net. 

Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard was pulled after the goal for Petr Mrazek. Howard made 13 saves. 

"It's tough to play from behind in this league and dig yourself out of holes," Howard said. "They are a good team, gotta give them credit, they were flying from the start. The mood in the dressing room before the game was good, so I thought things would fall into place out there but it didn't." 

Detroit began to push back and got a power-play goal from Abdelkader to pull within 3-1. Henrik Zetterberg took a shot from the right circle that deflected off Gustav Nyquist and onto the stick of Abdelkader, who scored into the open net at 8:08.

Video: DET@TBL: Condra's shot beats Howard for opening goal

Helm's goal at 15:25 of the second period made it 3-2. He took a pass at center ice from Pavel Datsyuk and slipped around the defense of Alex Killorn to put a shot between the pads of Lightning goalie Ben Bishop.  

"We've got to win hockey games, and it starts Thursday (against the Montreal Canadiens)," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We've got to win the hockey game. We don't have very many left, so we've better come ready to play and certainly take advantage of our home ice and do a good job. We've been a good home-ice team in the second half of the year overall. We've got to be a really good home-ice team during this stretch." 

Tampa Bay took advantage of a 5-on-3 late in the second period to take a 4-2 lead. Nikita Kucherov scored off a back-door pass from Tyler Johnson for his 28th goal at 17:42. 

"If you look at our lineup, we like to say we can go four lines deep," Johnson said. "Every line can score; it's been off and on throughout the season but we continue to have confidence with each other. We had a big [power-play] goal there to respond to their pressure."

Video: DET@TBL: Condra extends the lead with his second goal

Condra scored twice, his first goals since Dec. 5. He gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 1:47 of the first period off an assist from Palat. Condra made it 6-2 at 16:56 of the third period when he knocked in his rebound. 

"Being from Detroit, it's always fun to get one or a couple against your hometown team," Condra said. "This game is a mental game, you know you can be that player, but until you put that puck in the net, you doubt yourself." 

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Condra had some troubles adjusting to his role this season after arriving from the Ottawa Senators. 

"I'm happy for him because he had about 35 people in the stands and he's going to be a father again over the next few days," Cooper said. "He's been in the lineup more times than not, but he's had stretches where he hasn't played. He's trying to find his identity on this team and it's tough being the one new guy coming in even though he's a veteran in the League." 

Palat scored 1:03 into the third period, his 14th goal. Hedman had two assists. 

"Two 5-on-3s back to the back, that's not good hockey," Zetterberg said. "I thought both teams were playing a little sloppy from the beginning. We gave each other some easy chances. They scored on them, we didn't. We were down two, but I felt we were in the game. They scored those two goals, and we were hungry, then we got four penalties in a row."

Video: Condra scores two for Lightning in rout of Red Wings

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