(Photo by Scott Audette/NHL)
Home ice hasn't provided much of an advantage in the Eastern Conference first-round series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Red Wings. But the Lightning get one more chance to show their NHL-best 32 home wins during the regular season weren't a mirage. The Lightning host the Red Wings in Game 7 at Amalie Arena on Wednesday, with the winner advancing to play the Atlantic Division champion Montreal Canadiens. In staving off elimination with a 5-2 win Monday in Game 6 at Joe Louis Arena, the Lightning continued a trend that has seen the road team win each of the past three games and four of six in the series.
The Lightning last played a Game 7 in the 2011 Eastern Conference finals, when they lost 1-0 to the Boston Bruins. Their most recent Game 7 on home ice was a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames in the 2004 Stanley Cup finals for the franchise's lone championship.
The Red Wings played Game 7 on the road in back-to-back rounds in 2013, defeating the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in the Western Conference quarterfinals and losing 3-2 in overtime to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the conference semiifinals.
"It's a Game 7, we're excited to play and we've played well in their building," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We made mistakes [Monday] that led to giving up three goals, and we can't afford to do those things again. We gave them space. They were able to show skill, and we turned the puck over in the wrong spots." The teams have alternated wins throughout the series, with Detroit taking leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 only to see Tampa Bay answer each time.
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You can catch tonight's 7:30 PM matchup on Fox Sports Detroit, or tune in on 97.1 The Ticket with Ken Kal and Paul Woods.