(SportsNetwork.com) – The Detroit Red Wings got their homestand off to a
winning start on Friday.
History says the second game of the residency should be in their favor as
The Red Wings try to extend a decade-plus worth of home success over the Tampa
Bay Lightning on Sunday evening.
Detroit kicked off its homestand with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils,
snapping a three-game skid (0-1-2). The Red Wings next try to make it two
victories in a row over a Lightning team that they are 14-2-1 with a tie all-
time against at home.
Tampa Bay did win four straight in this series prior to a setback in Detroit
on March 30 in the most recent encounter.
Jimmy Howard needed to make only 15 saves in Friday’s win over the Devils. He
is set to start tonight and is 3-1-1 with a 1.98 goals against average and
.935 save percentage in five prior meetings with the Bolts.
Howard has yielded two goals or fewer in four straight overall and seven of
his last eight.
Jakub Kindl and Johan Franzen had power-play goals on Friday, while Brendan
Smith and Niklas Kronwall scored in regulation.
“When our power play gets going the whole team gets going,” said Smith. “I
don’t know what our stats are like when we score on the power play, but I feel
like we win a lot more when we get some of those goals.”
The goal surge was welcomed considering that forward Pavel Datsyuk was a late
scratch because of a groin injury. He is questionable for tonight and has five
goals with 10 points in eight games this season.
Though Detroit has had a ton of success recently in this series, Tampa Bay
comes in riding a season-high five-game winning streak. The Lightning have 27
goals over that span and saw 15 skaters record at least one point in last
night’s 7-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
J.T. Brown, Cedric Paquette, Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle all scored in the
first period, while Tyler Johnson ended with two goals and Ryan Callahan
notched a goal and two assists.
“Any time you can jump on a team like that and get out to a 4-0 lead,
obviously we’ll take that every single time,” Brown said.
Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves to pick up his second win of the season.
The Lightning will try to post their longest winning streak since taking seven
in a row from Jan. 17-Feb. 4, 2012 and Ben Bishop is likely to start in net
tonight after Nabokov got the call versus the Blue Jackets.
Bishop has faced the Red Wings six times with five starts and is 4-1-0 against
them with a 1.47 GAA and .947 save percentage.