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game recap

Nikita Kucherov sends Lightning past Red Wings

Forward scores with 1:10 left in third, Steven Stamkos injured in win

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Nikita Kucherov scored his second goal of the game with 1:10 left in the third period and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.

Kucherov has eight goals and 21 points this season, including three goals and two assists in Tampa Bay's back-to-back wins against Detroit and the New York Islanders.

"The last two nights are probably the best two games I've ever seen him play," Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop said of Kucherov. "He's been unbelievable."

Bishop made 25 saves for Tampa Bay (10-6-1), which defeated Detroit for the second time this season. Petr Mrazek had 18 saves for Detroit (8-8-1).

 

WATCH: All Lightning vs. Red Wings highlights

 

Detroit forward Drew Miller blocked Braydon Coburn's slap shot from the point, but Kucherov put the rebound past Mrazek for the winning goal.

Video: TBL@DET: Kucherov buries turnover to open the scoring

"We just kept playing our game," said Kucherov, who hit the post twice in the third period. "We did what we are supposed to do, and the goal finally came."

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. He fell awkwardly along the boards while killing a penalty and immediately went to the locker room, favoring his right leg.

Coach Jon Cooper said the Lightning won't know the extent of Stamkos' injury until he undergoes tests on Wednesday.

Video: TBL@DET: Stamkos leaves game with apparent injury

"You hate to lose any guy, but especially one of the best players in the world," Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said.

The Lightning took a 1-0 lead at 3:30 of the first after Mrazek misplayed the puck behind the net. Kucherov quickly tapped the loose puck.

"I was ready to play the puck, and it took a bad bounce right onto Kucherov's stick," Mrazek said.

Stamkos made it 2-0 at 6:09 with his ninth goal of the season, sweeping a rebound past Mrazek.

Video: TBL@DET: Stamkos slams in a rebound on the doorstep

Frans Nielsen made it 2-1 at 18:41, taking a pass from Luke Glendening and flipping a backhand past Bishop for his third of the season.

The Lightning had a chance to increase their lead when they got back-to-back power plays in the second period, including 19 seconds of 5-on-3. Mrazek made a tough save on Hedman's shot to keep the Red Wings within one.

Nikita Nesterov gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead at 1:29 of the third period with a power-play goal. He ended a 45-game scoreless streak with a slap shot from the point.

Ryan Sproul scored his first NHL goal on a power play at 7:12 to make it 3-2. Sproul's wrist shot from the right faceoff dot beat Bishop, who was screened.

Video: TBL@DET: Sproul goes five-hole for his first NHL goal

"It feels good to get one, but it would have been better in a win," Sproul said.

Henrik Zetterberg tied the game 3-3 at 9:38, tapping home Anthony Mantha's pass with the Red Wings on a 4-on-3 power play.

Detroit forward Darren Helm missed the last 14:00 after appearing to injure his left arm after a check by Nesterov.

"We'll know more tomorrow, but he's going to be out for a while," Blashill said.

 
Goal of the game

The Lightning weren't looking forward to overtime, playing with a short bench on the second half of a back-to-back, and Kucherov helped them avoid it. Mrazek moved to his left to try to see Coburn's shot from the point, and Kucherov got to the deflection off Miller and hit the open side of the net.

Video: TBL@DET: Kucherov nets his second goal for late lead

 
Save of the game

With Tampa Bay protecting a 2-1 lead late in the second period, Gustav Nyquist slid a pass into the path of Brendan Smith, who was driving to the far side of the net. Bishop got his stick on the pass before Smith could tap it into the net.

 
Highlight of the game

Mantha had the pass of the night to set up Zetterberg's third-period goal. He gathered in the rebound of Sproul's shot, and slid a spinning backhand pass across the crease for an easy tap-in.

Video: TBL@DET: Zetterberg buries Mantha's beautiful pass

 
Unsung moment of the game

Hedman made a key hustle play in the first period to preserve Tampa Bay's 2-0 lead. Facing Mantha and Nyquist on a 2-on-1 break late in the period, he helped take away Mantha's shooting angle, then dove to deflect his pass attempt.

 
They said it

"I saw a lot of good stuff in the third period, but it is obviously extremely frustrating to lose that hockey game at the end." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill

 

"He's been on fire lately, and he's changing games. When I'm on the ice with him, I'm always looking to get him the puck." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman on Nikita Kucherov

 
Need to know

The Lightning were down to 14 skaters for much of the second period. Stamkos was out, both Coburn and Cedric Paquette missed several shifts with minor injuries, and Brian Boyle received 17 minutes in penalties after instigating a fight with Detroit forward Steve Ott. … Sproul had the first two-point game of his NHL career.

 
What's next

Lightning: At the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, SUN, NHL.TV)

Red Wings: At the Washington Capitals on Friday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, FS-D+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Kucherov's late goal lifts Lightning to 4-3 win

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