The Tampa Bay Lightning shakes off their road woes as they shut out the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
We’re a little skid on the road, and if you want to put yourself in a position to make the playoffs, you have to win on the road.” Coach Cooper said after the game.
As have a lot of games lately, the game started out really slow. There was a lot of back and forth between both teams, but neither one was able to capitalize. In fact, there was not so much as a point or penalty in the first period of play.
In the second, things started to heat up, but it wasn’t on the scoreboard, it was in the penalty box.
It seemed like every two minutes in the first half of the second period there was another penalty being called. It all started at 2:05 when Lightning center Tyler Johnson was called to the box for 2 minutes for Hooking Red Wings defenseman Jakub Kindl.
Just over two and a half minutes later, the Red Wings would be called the box when left wing Johan Franzen would be called off for 2 minutes for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. The penalty would ultimately be served by right wing Todd Bertuzzi.
Two minutes later, Gustav Nyquist would serve two minutes in the box for a bench penalty for Too Many Men on the Ice. Thirty eight seconds later, it would be Johnson once again heading off; this time for High Sticking.
I don’t know quite what was said in the locker room during the second intermission, but whatever it was certainly did the job.
The third period of play was all about the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With just 1:15 left in the third period, center Alex Killorn would put the nail in the Red Wings’ coffin with a goal on the empty net with the assists from center Valtteri Filppula and defenseman Eric Brewer.
Despite a tough second frame, which saw just three shots from the Bolts, the Lightning were definitely able to make it happen in the third. When the final buzzer sounded, the Shots on Goal were 28-26 in favor of the Red Wings.
After tonight’s game, Coach Cooper keeps it real about the difference in play between the second and third periods.
We did find our legs in the third because we didn’t use them in the second.” Cooper says. “It was just one of those games. We went in the room, it’s zero-zero, there’s two points on the table, we were like ‘just turn this into a twenty minute game.’ We’ve got a day off tomorrow, and there’s no reason we can’t just leave this on this table.”
Thanks to Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, the Red Wings were unable to make any of their offense translate to the scoreboard. Bishop has been one of the most solid goaltenders that the Lightning has had in quite some time. So far this season, Bishop is 17-5-2 in his 25 appearances this season with a GAA of 1.97 and a Save Percentage of .933.
Here is a look at one of the key saves that Bishop made in the starting minutes of the second period against right wing Daniel Alfredsson.
Let’s be honest. We wouldn’t be where we are in the standings without the goaltending we have gotten from both our guys.” Cooper says.
Bishop is currently 3rd in the National Hockey League in shutouts. He is tied with some pretty elite company; Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Minnesota Wild’s Josh Harding, and New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur just to name a few.
They’ve been good for us.” Cooper says. “They’ve made the big saves when we needed them, and we find a way to get the big goal when we need it. That was clearly the case tonight.”
About the only complaint I have from tonight is their lack of just about anything in the second period. The Lightning have a trend forming this season where they tend to sit back a little too much in the second period, and there have been times that this has bitten them. Thankfully, tonight was not one of those nights.
Three Stars of the Night:
What did you think of the Lightning’s performance tonight in Detroit? Who would you have voted as your three stars of the game? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.