Red Wings-Lightning quick take: waiting for your lucky break is not a winning formula

The Detroit Red Wings hoped to earn some sort of consolation after dropping a 5-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, and as the Lightning possessed an 18-game unbeaten streak against Detroit, a more competitive outing against Tampa would have to do (and go from there)…

BIG SIGH. On my 43rd birthday, the Red Wings were a lot better than they were on Wednesday, but better is not necessarily good. The Wings lost 3-1 to Tampa Bay, continuing the Bolts’ now-19-game unbeaten streak, affording Tampa Bay its 7,000th goal as a franchise, and just looking downright uncomfortable with the puck on their sticks in offensive situations during the second and third periods, where the Wings looked like they were waiting for a lucky break instead of trying to dictate events themselves.

Now the Wings got back to Florida, where they never win, for a Sunday matinee (3 PM EST start on Sunday) and Tuesday game, and they conclude their 6-game road trip with tilts against Nashville.

Prior to the game:

Roster-wise, it looked like Valtteri Filppula would sit out for Filip Zadina’s sake, and Danny DeKeyser remained out for Jon Merrill…

Let’s get it goin’.#DETvsTBL x #LGRWβ€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 5, 2021

Meanwhile, the Bolts were showing off their new (old) threads…

And the Bolts didn’t list their roster, so we’ll have to go with the starters and scratches, knowing that Tampa Bay goes with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen:

#DETvsTBL starters.β€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 5, 2021

Tonight’s #DETvsTBL starters!

Scratched: Volkov

In net: Vasilevskiy vs. Greissβ€” Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 5, 2021

So the Glendening line was tasked with checking Stamkos, and Nemeth and Hronek had been split up.

  • The first period began with puck drop at 7:08 PM EST, and Glendening won the draw and Helm and Glendening mucked the puck deep into the Bolts’ zone, where Erne and Merrill jabbed the puck deep.

Helm took a turnover and fired it on Vasilevskiy some 20 seconds into the game, giving us the game’s first shot.

Overall, it was a good first shift, and Hronek and Djoos set up Zadina, Smith and Larkin for a grinding shift in the Bolts’ zone.

Larkin and the Wings really got the jump on Tampa Bay, with Larkin generating a shot off the side of the net and a third opportunity before that line changed.

Barclay Goodrow got the Bolts’ first shot some 2:40 into the 1st…

  • And at 2:50, Patrik Nemeth took a holding penalty, yielding a power play for Tampa Bay.

. @TBLightning power play!

Watch the Bolts vs Red Wings on FOX Sports Sun & FOX Sports Go:β€” FOX Sports Bolts (@FOXSportsBolts) February 6, 2021

The Lightning were not able to win the first faceoff in the Wings’ zone, but they did cycle in Detroit’s end before Luke Glendening and company cleared the zone absent one of their best penalty-killers in Nemeth.

Ultimately, Staal and Hronek got turned around, and Palat got a fine chance at the end of the power play, but Greiss stood tall…Erm, butterflied tall.

Detroit still led in shots 3-1 after the power play, and a Christian Djoos turnover did not afford the Wings another shot against…

  • And Mathieu Joseph took a hooking penalty at 6:29 of the 1st, giving Detroit its 2nd power play.

Detroit worked Ryan, Larkin, Mantha, Fabbri and Djoos on the first PP unit, a little wrinkle sans Hronek, and Djoos’ turnover-prone nature did not help things.

The first shift yielded nothing, so Merrill and Hronek hopped over the boards, and the Wings’ entries did not improve.

Filip Zadina at least got a shot off on a PP that stank entry-wise…

  • Victor Hedman took a slashing penalty at 7:57, giving Detroit a short 5 on 3, but Dylan Larkin hit the post, then broke his stick…

Ryan, Fabbri, Larkin, Mantha and Djoos gave up a 3-on-3 chance…

Merrill and Hronek powered Gagner, Namestnikov and Zadina to…possession in the offensive zone…

  • And Vladislav Namestnikov tipped a Filip Zadina shot tipped down in front of Andrei Vasilevskiy, initially set up by a Sam Gagner lateral pass and a fine pull-up deep in the offensive zone by Filip Hronek.

Pucks on net! #LGRWβ€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 6, 2021

VLADDY!!! #LGRWβ€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 6, 2021

  • Detroit led 1-0 at 10:00 of the 1st period.

So what did the Red Wings do for an encore?

  • The Wings took a penalty. Givani Smith sat at 10:28 for slashing.

Helm, Glendening, Hronek and Nemeth did a great job on the first unit, pushing Tampa back into its zone;

Staal and Stecher came out for the 2nd PK, with Namestnikov and Nielsen, and Greiss made a couple of Grade-A stops on Stamkos and Point…

Ultimately, the best scoring chance of the power play…Went to Anthony Cirelli, TWICE, first on the rush and the on the rebound.

GREISS, GREISS BABY!β€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 6, 2021

Greiss made some amazing stretchy-Gumby stops as the power play expired.

On the next shift, Givani Smith’s forechecking yielded a scoring opportunity for Larkin and Zadina…

But the Bolts managed to turn a 7-1 shot deficit to a 9-8 shot deficit by the 13:30 mark, so it was loose…

  • And Patrick Maroon took a turnover, skated to the slot, and flipped a shot off Luke Glendening’s knee, through a Staal-and-Bolt screen, and past Thomas Greiss at 13:56 of the 1st.
  • Tampa Bay tied the game 1-1.

Detroit persisted, at least, they didn’t give up as the shots tied 11-11, and Tampa Bay really got riding on their high, hard, physical horse forechecking-wise…

Long story long, Detroit was beginning to commit some dangerous turnovers, so the Wings looked leaky, but the Wings were trying.

As the final minute of the period began, the Wings were more or less in control, and Givani Smith’s forechecking was yielding help for Larkin scoring-wise…

  • And a penalty came to Larkin for tripping McDonagh after he was tripped, and Detroit headed to the PK at 19:28.

Tampa got a couple of good shots off before the 1st period ended at 7:42. 20 minutes of play in 34 minutes of elapsed time is pretty good.

All tied up after one! #DETvsTBLβ€” Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 6, 2021

1’s after 1. #DETvsTBL #LGRWβ€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 6, 2021

Stats through 20 minutes. #DETvsTBL

Sign up now for a special @BetMGM offer Β»β€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 6, 2021

Your πŸ“Š after 20! #DETvsTBLβ€” Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 6, 2021

Here are the individual stats for the Wings and Bolts after 1:

And here’s something we don’t see on Red Wings games any more:

  • The 2nd period began with the Red Wings on the penalty-kill for 1:31, tied 1-1.
  • The 2nd period also began at 8:01 PM EST.

Detroit was able to win the opening faceoff and chip the puck down ice, and Helm, Glendening, Nemeth and Staal worked the perimeter during the next shift, but Steven Stamkos put a puck off the post on a one-timer.

Detroit was able to repel Tampa Bay for the most part, standing up through center ice and forcing the Bolts to get creative with their zone entries, but once Tampa set up in Detroit’s zone, their talent really shined through.

Ultimately, Detroit killed the penalty.

Tampa continued to dominate offensively and in terms of possession and control, too, so the Wings played a lot of PK-style hockey in their own zone.

3 minutes into the 2nd period, Detroit was out-shot 18-12.

As Ken Daniels notes, Mantha has joined the Larkin line, and Smith, Zadina and Ryan are skating together. Who’s the center?β€” George Malik (@georgemalik) February 6, 2021

Detroit did slowly but surely respond 4 minutes into the 2nd, with Merrill joining the rush to help Gagner and Namestnikov cycle the puck down low, but, again and again, Tampa would take the Wings’ pucks off their sticks in the offensive zone.

That being said, Troy Stecher did get a nice point shot in on Vasilevskiy, and Stecher spent the next shift blocking Bolt shot attempts, continuing to play well.

Thomas Greiss had the stick knocked out of his hands making a blocker save, too, just before the first TV timeout of the period hit.

At 6:13, Detroit was being out-shot 5-0 in the 2nd.

When play resumed, Detroit and Tampa Bay traded possession, traded rushes, but did not trade shots as things settled into a defensive shell for both teams.

The Red Wings broke the deadlock–in a fashion, if you will–thanks to Givani Smith setting up Filip Zadina for a wide shot and Christian Djoos for a shot on the net.

Filip Hronek also got a chance of his own, from Frans Nielsen of all people, at 9:59 of the 2nd. Frans Nielsen.

All of a sudden, the shots were 6-5 Detroit at 10:13.

When play resumed after the 2nd TV timeout of the 2nd period, Detroit continued to skate at a high tempo, but the Wings also started to make mistakes…

Adam Foote’s son, Cal, sent a puck wide of the goal and Greiss on a 4 on 2…

Dylan Larkin was playing dogged hockey at both ends of the ice, and everywhere in between….

Bobby Ryan, who’s been dry like sawdust, shanked a shot wide of Vasilevskiy, only to be followed up by an elegant opportunity on the net by Hronek, and another wide shot attempt by Djoos…

The Red Wings were happy to play Non-Event Hockey, but the Bolts were getting ornery as the Wings nursed their 1-1 tie, and Tampa cranked up their physicality significantly.

  • The game broke open when Brayden Point chipped the puck away from Djoos at the Red Wings’ blueline, Jan Rutta reversed flow to Barclay Goodrow coming off the bench, and Goodrow fired a LONG one-timer through Greiss at 17:29.
  • Tampa Bay made it 2-1 at 17:29 of the 2nd period.

Detroit at least continued to rush the Bolts’ net, with Gagner and Nielsen of all people generating a chance for Vladislav Namestnikov, and Nielsen found Gagner for a fine attempt that was blocked hard by the Bolts…

So the 2nd period ended with Tampa up by a goal.

Through 40. #DETvsTBLβ€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 6, 2021

Your πŸ“Š after 40. #DETvsTBLβ€” Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 6, 2021

Here are the players’ individual stats after the 2nd period, a period in which Detroit out-shot Tampa Bay 12-9:

3rd coming up. #DETvsTBLβ€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 6, 2021

  • The 3rd period began with the teams at even strength, but on odd footing as Tampa Bay led 2-1.
  • Detroit won the opening faceoff, chipped the puck in deep, and a terrible turnover by Helm and Nemeth yielded a Brayden Point chance point-blank, which Greiss stopped.

The Red Wings continued to play “non event hockey” as the 3rd period progressed, waiting for their opportunity to tie the game, and that’s dangerous hockey. You want to drive events, not wait for them.

Helm, Glendening and Erne had their bright spots, but Filip Hronek tried to chip the puck directly onto a Wings stick from his own slot, and his redirection went right to Sergachev, who nearly scored on Greiss some 4:30 into the 3rd.

Staal and Merrill also made very good shot blocks with their sticks to help Greiss in the Wings’ zone, but Detroit’s zone was becoming Tampa Bay’s play pen, as the Bolts began to dominate possession and control inside the Red Wings’ blueline.

Blake Coleman was able to push back Nemeth and wrap the puck toward the Red Wings’ net with two Bolts forwards going toward said net, but Greiss made a big stop and ushered in the first TV timeout over 8:29 into the 3rd.

Detroit was trailing in shots 6-0 in the 3rd period some 8:29 in. Tampa Bay led in shots 29-24 overall.

Dylan Larkin got the Wings’ first shot at 9:49 of the 3rd period, a one-timer off a Djoos pass that Vasilevskiy saw the whole way.

At 10:52, Detroit had 1 shot to Tampa’s 6.

In perhaps the most entertaining moment of the 3rd period, Dylan Larkin was “checked” head over heels while in the Wings’ bench by Robby Fabbri, who was worried that an errant puck was going to strike Larkin in the face.

Watching on repeat! 🀣#GoBoltsβ€” FOX Sports Bolts (@FOXSportsBolts) February 6, 2021

Detroit and Tampa were stuck on their respective shot totals–1, and 6–some 13:29 into a boring 3rd period.

Fabbri tried to get a shot off in tight with Gagner and Namestnikov some 14:20 into the 3rd, but he was held, and there was no call against Tampa Bay.

Jon Merrill tried to change things as well, but he shanked the puck wide of Vasilevskiy.

Instead, Erik Cernak was stopped by Greiss, Larkin blocked a Bolt attempt, and play was stopped when Sam Gagner got hit from behind at the penalty box.

Play halted at 16:18 as Gagner was down for a period of time over by the penalty boxes, now up and off to the locker roomβ€” Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) February 6, 2021

The hit looked clean on replay, just from behind–Gagner didn’t see Cernak coming up behind him, and he got hit hard.

Gagner is having an argument with Piet Van Zant about having to go off to take his baseline concussion test. He’s being taken out by the spotter.β€” George Malik (@georgemalik) February 6, 2021

Gagner had to exit the ice and take his baseline concussion test, leaving Detroit with 11 forwards for the final 3:30 of the 3rd.

BIZARRELY, the Red Wings put Helm, Glendening and Erne out for a shift with 2:30 remaining…

And Thomas Greiss had to make a BIG STOP as Larkin and Namestnikov’s line got backed in with 1:45 remaining.

Greiss could not exit the net until 1:22 remained, and Bobby Ryan helped on defense, working with Hronek, but Tampa Bay cycled, worked the puck down low, and Detroit looked inept.

Ultimately, Barclay Goodrow scored the empty-net marker to seal it 3-1 for Tampa Bay at 19:32 of the 3rd period.

EMPTY NETTERβ€” Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 6, 2021

#BOLTSWINβ€” Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 6, 2021

Goodrow ended the game at 19:32.

A much better effort tonight. The #RedWings will head to Sunrise to take on the Panthers Sunday afternoon. #DETvsTBLβ€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 6, 2021

The Red Wings are winless in their last eight games. The Lightning beat them tonight, 3-1β€” Brad Galli (@BradGalli) February 6, 2021

Final numbers from Tampa. #DETvsTBLβ€” Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 6, 2021

Statistics: Here are the Game Summary and Event Summary:

Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

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