DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings were good when they had to be against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tomas Holmstrom's power-play goal broke a tie early in the third period, and Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Ericsson each had a goal and an assist in Detroit's 4-2 victory on Wednesday night.
"It was a good win for our team. To be honest with you, I didn't think we were great," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought we were good in the first. I thought we turned over too many pucks and weren't as physical as we normally are. We didn't have as much energy."
Darren Helm also scored for Detroit, which won its sixth straight. Jimmy Howard made 33 saves, including stopping Matt Gilroy on a short-handed breakaway with 4:11 left. He had a few more big stops after the Lightning pulled goalie Dwayne Roloson for an extra attacker in the final two minutes.
"It was just being patient. I gave up a backdoor goal late in the second. I didn't want to do that again," Howard said. "I played a little deeper than I'd like in the last couple minutes. I gave myself a chance to make every save."
Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos scored for the Lightning, and Roloson stopped 31 shots.
"In the third period they made their power play work and we didn't make our power play work," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "We kind of killed ourselves with a few turnovers."
Holmstrom's goal 4:22 into the third period gave Detroit a 3-2 lead. He deflected Nicklas Lidstrom's shot out of the air, about shin high, past Roloson for his fourth goal.
"I'm trying to get it on net. I'm trying to get it on the far side. I know Homer's trying to get in front of the net," Lidstrom said. "It was more of a lucky bounce that it hit him and went in."
Helm added his third goal, with 6:46 left, on a shot from the left circle.
"The fourth goal killed us," Stamkos said. "A defensive breakdown led to that goal. That can't happen."
Stamkos tied it 2-2 with 14 seconds left in the second period, firing in a one-timed shot from the bottom of the left circle for his 16th goal. St. Louis' power-play goal 9:35 into the middle period put Tampa Bay on the board. He beat Howard from the slot for his seventh this season.
Datsyuk opened the scoring 4:58 in when he put in a one-timed shot from the inside edge of the left circle for his seventh goal. Ericsson's first of the season made it 2-0. He fired a shot past Roloson from the high slot with 8:56 left in the first period.
NOTES: It was the first game back in Detroit for Steve Yzerman since he became general manager of the Lightning. Yzerman spent his entire Hall of Fame playing career with the Red Wings, serving as captain for 20 years and winning the Stanley Cup three times. He won it again as a vice-president with the Red Wings. A video tribute to Yzerman was shown on the videoboard during a stoppage of play in the first period. Yzerman was then shown, and he received a standing ovation. ... Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman signed a US$20 million, five-year contract extension on Wednesday. ... Red Wings RW Patrick Eaves is expected to be out 6-to-8 weeks after having surgery on his broken jaw. Eaves was injured Saturday in Detroit's 4-1 win over Nashville. Eaves was placed on the injured list after the game, and the Red Wings recalled forward Chris Conner from Grand Rapids of the AHL.