Season Series: Tampa Bay and Detroit square off in the first and only meeting of the season. A year ago, Detroit came into Tampa Bay and collected a 6-2 victory to extend its streak of five consecutive wins over the Lightning, which remains active coming into Wednesday’s game at Joe Louis Arena.
The Big Story: Last season’s contest between the two clubs made headlines as Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman faced off against his former club for the very first time, but in Tampa Bay. This year, the reunion is expected to be met with much more pomp and circumstance, as Yzerman will make his first return to Detroit as a Tampa Bay executive after spending 20 seasons as Red Wings captain and winning four Stanley Cups with the organization.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay looks to not only conclude a two-game road trip with a win after falling 3-1 in Minnesota Monday night, but also seeks to snap the Red Wings’ current five-game win streak. The challenge may not be as daunting as it seems, seeing that the Lightning have already halted a pair of opponents’ three-game win streaks twice this season. The team’s own win streak came to an end Monday at the Xcel Energy Center, as Steven Stamkos’ 15th goal of the year proved not enough to propel the Bolts over the Wild. Stamkos opened the scoring in the second period, but Minnesota scored three unanswered goals, including one while shorthanded and another into an empty net, to snap the Lightning’s string of victories at two. Mathieu Garon made 21 saves in his third consecutive start in net, and while the Lightning outshot Minnesota and displayed a solid all-around effort, it was the team’s inability to bury scoring chances that ultimately led to the defeat.
RED WINGS – Detroit competes in the second of two games during its current stretch at home. The Red Wings have been one of the NHL’s hottest teams as of late, winning five games in a row and nine out of their past 11. The most recent victory came Saturday in a convincing 4-1 win over Nashville, and just one day after Detroit snapped the Bruins’ 10-game win streak. Valtteri Filppula scored twice and added an assist, while Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg also had goals. Jimmy Howard won for the fifth straight time in net, as Detroit held a glaring 37-19 advantage in shots.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos has nine goals in his past 11 games for Tampa Bay, and is currently riding a three-game goal streak. Martin St. Louis also has a goal and a pair of assists in his past three games. For Detroit, Valtteri Filppula is riding a three-game point streak with four goals and an assist in that span, while Jiri Hudler has four assists in his past three matches.
RED WINGS – Patrick Eaves (jaw) and Jan Mursak (ankle, placed on Injured Reserve, out indefinitely).
Notable Quotable: “They definitely stayed positive towards me and kept in touch with myself and my agent. I knew they had plans for me. I knew they were showing a commitment, so it shows their loyalty. It might turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Everything happens for a reason. I was able to go down there and work on my game. Getting recalled last week and getting my contract extended is exciting and it does show Tampa’s commitment to me, so that shows a lot.” – Lightning forward Dana Tyrell, who was recently recalled from Norfolk of the AHL and re-signed to a two-year deal on Monday
Connections: Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman served as Detroit captain for 20 seasons and won four Stanley Cups with the Red wings, including three as a player...Yzerman also served as GM of Canada's 2010 Olympic Gold Medal winning hockey team, coached by current Detroit bench boss Mike Babcock. Babcock and Lightning head coach Guy Boucher are both products of McGill University, as is Tampa Bay assistant Martin Raymond...Red Wings forward Drew Miller attended Tampa Bay's 2009 Training Camp and earned a roster spot before being claimed off waivers by Detroit.
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