(SportsNetwork.com) – The Detroit Red Wings will try to take a commanding 3-1
lead in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Thursday when they host the
Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4.
The Red Wings are coming off an impressive 3-0 victory over the Lightning on
Tuesday. Peter Mrazek stopped all 22 shots to shut out Tampa Bay in Detroit’s
first home game of the best-of-seven set.
Detroit hopes to extend its 2-1 lead in the series with another win at Joe
Louis Arena before heading back to Tampa for Game 5 on Saturday.
The Red Wings rebounded from a 5-1 blowout loss in Game 2 to regain the lead
in this matchup. Mrazek was pulled from Saturday’s lopsided defeat after two
periods, but the rookie bounced back in Tuesday’s rematch.
The 23-year-old Mrazek stopped six shots during the first period, nine in
the middle stanza and seven more in the final frame for his first career
“It’s a huge win for us,” Mrazek said. “Defense was great and they helped us
win this game.”
Mrazek is the only goaltender to shut out Tampa Bay this season. He posted a
23-save whitewashing in a 4-0 home victory on March 28, dealing the high-
powered Bolts their one and only shutout of the season.
Pavel Datsyuk scored an early goal, Riley Sheahan lit the lamp on the power
play during the third and Luke Glendening provided a late empty-netter for the
Datsyuk is leading Detroit in this series with three points (2G, 1A).
Ben Bishop allowed all three goals on 21 shots for the Lightning, who went 0-
for-6 on the power play.
“We didn’t get the bounces. We worked our tails off to get them,” Tampa Bay
head coach Jon Cooper said. “We had to play from behind and they’re a really
good defensive team.”
Tampa led the NHL in offense during the regular season with an average of 3.16
goals per game, but the Bolts have been held in check outside of the Game 2
rout. The Lightning have seven goals over three games.
After finishing second in the NHL with 43 goals in the regular season, Steven
Stamkos has yet to score in this playoff series. Tampa’s captain has gone six
straight postseason tilts without a goal and last hit the net in the playoffs
when he scored twice in the opener of last spring’s four-game loss to Montreal
in the opening round.
“Not the effort that we wanted,” Stamkos said after the Game 3 loss. “We have
to look ourselves in the mirror and realize what each individual brings to
this team that’s made us successful all year, whether it’s producing — and
obviously I want to be a part of that — or competing or taking the body.”
The Lightning struggled on the road during the regular season, going 18-16-7
as the guest this season compared to a 32-8-1 record at home.
Detroit was 22-10-9 at Joe Louis Arena this season.
On the injury front, Tampa’s Jason Garrison is expected to sit out again
tonight with an upper-body injury. The defenseman has missed the last nine
games dating back to the regular season.