(SportsNetwork.com) – After storming back for a thrilling comeback win, the
Tampa Bay Lightning will try to grab their first lead of the Eastern
Conference quarterfinals on Saturday when they host the Detroit Red Wings in
The Lightning evened this best-of-seven set at two games apiece on Thursday
thanks to a furious comeback effort in Detroit. Tampa overcame a two-goal
deficit to grab a 3-2 overtime win for its second victory of the series after
taking Game 2 on home ice by a 5-1 score.
The Red Wings led Game 4 by a 2-0 count in the latter stages of the third
period and seemed to be closing in on a 3-1 cushion in the series. However,
Tampa scored three straight goals over a span of less than eight minutes to
steal the game and even the series.
Tyler Johnson factored in all three goals during the late rally. He cut the
deficit to 2-1 by scoring with 5:26 left in the third period before notching
the primary assist on Ondrej Palat’s game-tying goal just 1:17 later.
Johnson then completed the comeback when he scored his fourth marker of the
playoffs just 2:25 into the extra session.
“I thought they stole this game,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. “We
made some mistakes that they capitalized on.”
Tampa broke out on a 3-on-1 rush early in OT after Palat pushed the puck ahead
to Victor Hedman on the right wing. Hedman froze Red Wings defender Kyle
Quincey and pulled Petr Mrazek out of position at the right side before
Johnson slid home his cross-ice dish from a tough angle.
Palat recorded an assist on the game-winner, while Ben Bishop recovered from
an early miscue to record a 22-save victory.
“Everyone knew the job that had to be done, and they went out and did it,”
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson tallied for the Red Wings, while Mrazek
took the loss despite stopping 26 pucks. Tampa Bay failed to score on Mrazek
for 119 minutes, 4 seconds before Johnson’s first goal of the contest
Andersson scored when Bishop mishandled a shot with his glove. The carom
deflected off Tampa defenseman Jason Garrison, then the crossbar and the tip
of Bishop’s stick before sliding across the goal line at 14:24 of the second
Garrison was playing in his first game of the series after sitting out the
previous nine games dating back to the regular season with an upper-body
Red Wings center Luke Glendening left Game 4 after suffering an injury to
his right hand. The club revealed after the contest that doctors stitched up
the wound and he will be ready for tonight.
The Lightning will be glad to be back home tonight. The Bolts went 32-8-1 at
Amalie Arena during the regular season.
Game 6 is scheduled for Monday night in Detroit. If necessary, a decisive
seventh contest will be played Wednesday in Tampa.