The Tampa Bay Lightning’s latest three game losing streak has been halted after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in overtime on the first of two straight matinee games. Both teams were able to create very little through two periods and Tampa Bay was held off the board until late in the third period as their powerplay and their big guns dragged them to a much-needed win.
Detroit has played the Lightning very tough in their three meetings this season, with the today’s being perhaps the toughest of them all. They held the Lightning scoreless at 5-on-5 and without a goal through the first 55 minutes of the game.
Let’s break down how it happened.
In their recent losing skid, penalties have absolutely killed the Lightning. Their penalty kill has been decent, all things considered. They allowed 10 minutes in powerplay time for Detroit in this one and this really kept the Lightning from gaining any sort of rhythm, especially early in the game. A bright spot was that they did kill off all five Red Wing powerplays.
2. Powerplay Comes Through in Clutch
In addition to their penalty kill, the Lightning powerplay came up huge in this one. Both the tying goal and overtime winner came on the man advantage. The Red Wings gifted Tampa Bay the opportunity to tie things late and then committed another in overtime as the Lightning powerplay helped keep them afloat and earned the 2-1 victory on the road.
3. Big Players Coming up Big
When you’re struggling, your best players have to step up and be your best players. Steven Stamkos came up with the tying goal on powerplay late in regulation and it was Brayden Point getting the winner on the powerplay in overtime. The goal was especially big for Point as it was just his second goal in his last 10 games.
4. Another Great Outing for Elliott
Brian Elliot put together yet another exceptional start for the Lightning and earned his fourth win in five starts. He has been everything you could ask for as a backup to the best goalie on the planet. He has made the most of his starts and was sharp from the very start of this one. He made a handful of huge stops on high quality chances for the Red Wings on the way to winning the goaltending duel over Detroit’s Alex Nedeljkovic, who was also on his game.
5. The Response in the Third
Through two and a half periods or so, the Lightning had created very little offensively. The turning point came after Oskar Sundqvist’s goal for the Red Wings just over eight minutes into the third period. After going down 1-0, Tampa Bay woke up and began to push hard in the third period and spent a lot of time in their offensive zone and played some of their best hockey of the game. Their pressure earned themselves a powerplay opportunity which propelled them to the tying goal and eventually into overtime.