|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET21:30 BRT, March 9, 2021
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 0
Detroit seeks first regulation win over Tampa Bay since 2015
Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings
- Tampa Bay has taken points in 19 straight meetings with the Red Wings (18-0-1), with the lone loss coming in their last trip to Detroit on March 8 last season. That's tied for the longest active point streak by one team over another (Penguins, 19 straight vs. Oilers).
- Since losing consecutive games on February 15 and 20, the Lightning have put together an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) in which they've outscored opponents 29-11. The Lightning converted four of their five power-plays in Chicago on Sunday, the first time they've scored at least four power-play goals since November 14, 2019 (5-for-8 vs. Rangers).
- Yanni Gourde tallied a career-high four points in Sunday's win over Chicago, scoring two goals and adding two assists. Gourde has eight points (4g, 4a) in his last seven games after recording just seven (4g, 3a) in his first 16 this season.
- Victor Hedman has nine points (2g, 7a) over the Lightning's eight-game point streak, and leads the Lightning with 24 points this season. He is one of three blueliners leading their teams in points this season, along with Ottawa's Thomas Chabot and Montreal's Jeff Petry; no defenseman has ever led the Lightning in scoring over a season.
- Detroit dropped the last three games of its road trip, getting outscored 16-5 over that span. The Red Wings have been held to two goals or fewer an NHL-high 19 times this season and are 1-15-3 (.132) in those games.
- Filip Zadina scored both Detroit goals in Thursday's loss to Carolina, the second multi-goal game of his career (also January 22, 2020 at Minnesota). Zadina has four points (2g, 2a) in his last five games after tallying four in his first 14 this season, including a seven-game scoring drought from February 11-23.
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The defending Stanley Cup champions have caught fire, and a pair of games against the Central Division's last-place team cannot be expected to cool them off.
The Tampa Bay Lighting are 7-0-1 over their last eight games and have taken over first place in the division. They now head to Detroit to face the reeling Red Wings on Tuesday and Thursday.
Tampa Bay has dominated the series in recent years, carrying a remarkable 19-game point streak (18-0-1) against the Wings, dating back to Nov. 3, 2016.
The Lighting equaled their season-high in goals Sunday afternoon in defeating Chicago 6-3. They rallied from a 3-0 deficit, taking the lead by the end of the second period with a four-goal flurry.
"Seems like we just kind of woke up," forward Alex Killorn said. "It seemed like we were tired in the first. We don't play a lot of the 1:30 games, not to use it as an excuse, but it seemed like we just weren't ready from the start. Once we got those goals, those helped us momentum-wise."
Tampa Bay's power play was particularly potent, producing four of the six goals. Yanni Gourde led the offensive surge with two goals and two assists. He has eight goals and seven assists this season.
"I really enjoy the way he (Gourde) works. He wins a lot of his battles," Killorn said. "He's always first on pucks, and he created a ton of opportunities (Sunday). He scores the big two goals but there's a lot of other plays that he made that were huge for us."
Earlier in the current streak, Tampa Bay relied on a hot goaltender as Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded shutouts in three consecutive starts. Vasilevskiy gave up three goals on Sunday but the offensive support allowed him to notch his 15th victory.
He was the winning goaltender in the Lighting's two home victories over Detroit in early February by scores of 5-1 and 3-1. Vasilevskiy has a 10-0 career record against the Red Wings.
Detroit, in the meantime, has lost three in a row, allowing 16 goals in the process. The Wings haven't played since a 5-2 loss to Carolina on Thursday.
Coach Jeff Blashill said a few days off was a blessing.
"It was great, something we needed for sure," he said. "What happens during the season, and especially this season, you keep plugging along and it's hard. This gives us a chance to reset."
Team captain and first-line center Dylan Larkin didn't play in those games due to an upper-body injury. He returned to practice on Sunday.
"I felt pretty good," Larkin said. "It's kind of a day-to-day thing. The big thing is (to) see how it feels and take it from there."
Defenseman Troy Stecher, who has been sidelined the last seven games with a lower-body issue, also practiced.
Detroit begins a six-game homestand on Tuesday.
"We've stuck together, but we have to find a way to start getting some wins here and some positive energy," Larkin said. "I felt it was coming, but it's hard when the team's on the road and you're at home, so you're not really in the room with the guys. I know we battle for each other and we just need some results now."
--Field Level Media
Updated March 9, 2021