DETROIT -- Sooner or later, it was bound to happen.
For 16 consecutive regular-season games, the Red Wings had succumbed to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but before a full house and rabid Sunday evening crowd at Little Caesars Arena, the Wings finally broke through, downing the Bolts, 5-4, in a shootout.
It was Detroit's first regular-season victory over the Lightning since Nov. 3, 2015 and evened the season series at one game apiece.
Robby Fabbri, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha (power play) and Tyler Bertuzzi scored for the Wings, with Larkin and Fabbri (game-winner) netting goals in the shootout.
The quartet of Mantha, Larkin, Bertuzzi and Fabbri accounted for all of Detroit's points, with the line of Bertuzzi-Larkin-Mantha combining for 11 total points.
Brayden Point (two goals, one power play), Carter Verhaeghe and Pat Maroon were the goal scorers for Tampa Bay.
Despite giving up four goals, goaltender Jonathan Bernier (15-21-3), was once again stellar in net, making several key saves as the Lightning were attacking in waves.
Curtis McElhinney (8-7-3) took the loss for Lightning, but he also played well as the Wings peppered him with several high-quality scoring chances.
With the win, the Red Wings (17-48-5) won back-to-back games for the first time since they defeated Montreal, 4-3, on Jan. 7 and Ottawa, 3-2, in a shootout on Jan. 10.
Up next, the Wings will wrap up their current four-game homestand when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.
Tampa Bay (43-20-6) will also play on Tuesday when it faces the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
1. Robby Fabbri/Tyler Bertuzzi: Fabbri and Bertuzzi go way back to their days in the Ontario Hockey League with the Guelph Storm. When Fabbri first came to the Red Wings, Bertuzzi found him twice on the power play for two goals in his Detroit debut. While they're not always on the same line or the same power play, that chemistry remains. Midway through the first period, Bertuzzi spotted Fabbri all alone and sent him on a breakaway, which Fabbri finished at 10:11, giving the Wings a 1-0 lead. It was Fabbri's 15th goal of the season and second straight game with a tally. The Wings sent Fabbri out as the third shooter in the shootout despite his 0-for-7 shootout record and Fabbri did not disappoint, getting the deciding goal. Fabbri finished with 23 shifts for 23:01, had three shots, two hits, one giveaway, one takeaway, was 5-of-9 in face-offs and was minus-1. Bertuzzi not only assisted on Fabbri's goal, he also had helpers on Larkin and Mantha's goals. Then Mantha returned the favor at 4:24 of the third, returning the puck to Bertuzzi at the right doorstep. It marked Bertuzzi's team-leading 20th goal of the season. With the four points, Bertuzzi now has 47, tying his career best he had last season in 73 games. The 27 assists are a new career high for Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi's four points and three assists tied his single-game career high, plus gave him his 25th career multi-point game. In his last six games, Bertuzzi has seven points (2-5-7). He finished with 25 shifts for 21:24, had two shots, one hit, three giveaways, one takeaway and was plus-2.
Quotable: "Obviously you play to score goals. It's fun to get points. Like I said last game, to score but we got a big win at home and that's big. We all love playing with each other. Like I said before, we all bring something different to the table and I thought we were all pretty good tonight." - Bertuzzi
Quotable II: "Bert just said he wanted to beat his record from last year, so what was that? Four times three I believe, 12 points in four games. If he goes on a run, I would like to play with him." - Mantha
Quotable III: "I've liked Fabbs at center. He's pretty smart in his own end, he's won face-offs pretty well for a guy that hasn't taken much. I like him getting the puck in the middle of the ice. It's something that I just wanted to … we've experimented at different times with different players, especially when you're in this situation, we've got nothing to lose. He came into the NHL as a center, really hasn't had the opportunity to be a center. So I just thought let's try him at center and see if it ignites his game even more and I think he's done a good job with it." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Dylan Larkin/Anthony Mantha: Larkin's competitiveness is always present but it was even more so after the Lightning had taken a 2-1 lead at 14:57 of the second period. With time dwindling in the period, Larkin drove to the net and poked the rebound of Mantha's backhand shot into the net past McElhinney with 14.3 seconds remaining. Bertuzzi got the second assist on the goal. Mantha got a rebound of Larkin's shot at 1:41 of the third as the Red Wings were on the power play. Bertuzzi had the second assist. Then Mantha and Larkin had the assists on Bertuzzi's goal. It is Larkin's ninth career three-point game. Larkin extended his point streak to four games, with seven points (2-5-7) in that stretch. He now has six point streaks of four games or more. Mantha and Bertuzzi led with four points (1-3-4), which tied the team's season high, with Bertuzzi getting four on Oct. 5 at Nashville and Mantha on Oct. 6 against Dallas. The last time the Wings had multiple players with four-plus points in a game was March 7, 2014 when Johan Franzen (2-2-4) and Gustav Nyquist (1-3-4) accomplished that feat. Larkin finished with 25 shifts for 23:39, a team-high six shots, one hit, two takeaways, one blocked shot, was 14-of-21 in face-offs and was plus-1. Mantha finished with 22 shifts for 20:14, had three shots, one hit, one giveaway and was plus-3.
Quotable: "We knew they played last night. It's hard back to back coming in from Boston. We got them two more times the rest of the year here. It'll be fun playing these guys. These games matter for them. We gotta play like that every time. We showed emotion, we stuck together and we got great goaltending. I can't emphasize that enough. That helps a lot there. I think we still have 12 games left here. Whatever it may be, we gotta play like this. Play with emotion, play together. We've talked about it. When we come in here after a win, it's a lot better than after a loss. It's a lot better talking to you guys after a win. We just gotta play like we played the last two games and it'll be a good stretch and build towards something. Unfortunately we've had a lot of downs this season. We'll finish on a positive note if we keep playing the way we're playing." - Larkin
Quotable II: "We played really good. I think the chemistry is coming back. I think we kind of saw a glimpse of how we finished last year, and hopefully it could go that way until the end of the season. It's huge. Obviously like I said, chemistry is starting to connect again. Dylan's working so hard, Bert also. I'm just trying to follow those two guys and it paid off tonight." - Mantha
Quotable III: "Honestly I thought (Mantha) was gonna shoot, and then I kind of saw he wasn't, and I had to put my stick on the ice quickly. It was a great play by him." - Bertuzzi
Quotable IV: "I think they've shown they have chemistry and at times, it's been great this year. At times, it hasn't been good enough but at times, it's been great. I think it's a bit of a shame the injuries that Mantha has been through because I thought they started the year so, so good, it would have been nice to see what they would have done without that interruption. When he came back the first time, he never really got his game going back again. So the time he came back the second time, it took him a little. Now you're out a long time. But it's a line that I think has good elements. They've got a hard, skill guy in Bertuzzi, they've got an engine guy in Larks and then Anthony's got a real unique skillset, real, real unique skillset. So when they're going at a high level, they're dangerous." - Blashill
3. Jonathan Bernier: It might sound a little strange to say that a goaltender who gave up four goals was excellent, but Bernier was against the high-powered Lightning. Even though the Lightning were without center Steven Stamkos (core muscle surgery) and defenseman Victor Hedman, they still had plenty of firepower. Traditional Red Wings killer Nikita Kucherov led all skaters with eight shots but had just one assist to show for it. Plus Bernier stopped Kucherov in the shootout. Point had two goals but one of Bernier's best saves came on him when the Lightning were in full attack mode in the third period. Bernier stopped Kucherov and then Point circled around the net and the Wings goalie managed to slide over quickly to prevent the goal. Only Mikhail Sergachev solved Bernier in the shootout.
Quotable: "I think we got great goaltending but we stuck in there when things haven't gone our way. They score two tonight to make it 4-4 and after that, we bottled it up and we didn't give up a whole lot. I think tonight, it was nice. We scored four and that helps a lot when things don't go your way to have a little cushion there. We've been scoring and we've been playing close defense. I think Bernie's taking care of the rest. It's been more of the response we're looking for when things don't go our way in the past few games." - Larkin
Quotable II: "Bernie played real well. He made a lot of real good saves. Two-on-1 save early on the power play, made a lot of real good saves. I think we're doing a pretty good job of not giving up elite, elite chances but when you do that, you give up shots in traffic and he's done a good job of finding the puck through traffic. The one gets tipped in by our own guy. So another real good night, just solid, consistent effort by Bernie." - Blashill