DETROIT – The Tampa Bay Lightning ended their season-high 11-game point streak and dropped their first game in regulation since March 6 in a 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings Sunday evening at Joe Louis Arena.
"We had a great run here picking up points in 11 straight," head coach Jon Cooper said. "When you're constantly going into buildings that don't want to support that it gets tough.
"We don't want to see this team in our rearview mirror and then we lost a game to them tonight; it's difficult."
Though trailing by one in the final minutes of play, the Bolts failed to light a spark while playing come-from-behind hockey and showed they still have some cleaning up to do with an important game against the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday.
"The intestity was amplified tonight and that's what we're getting from here on out," Cooper said. "Beating the Canadiens would sure be a nice rallying point for our team. They call those four point games and that's exactly what Tuesday is."
Valtteri Filppula gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 8:40 of the first period to extend his point streak to 12 straight games (five goals, 11 assists).
"The line I've been playing on has really helped a lot," Filppula said. "I think that's the main thing."
The Red Wings Brendan Smith lost the puck, as Filppula then grabbed it and skated down the slot for the goal on Detroit netminder Jonas Gustavsson.
By the end of 40 minutes of play, however, the Red Wings tallied three consecutive goals to take a 3-1 lead.
Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist both notched goals before the end of the first. Andersson's tally came less than three minutes after Filppula's goal when he backhanded a rebound past goaltender Ben Bishop.
Nyquist's then came in highlight reel fashion. Battling with Matt Carle as he headed toward Bishop's net, Nyquist somehow managed to breakaway from Carle, but followed the puck behind the Bolts netminder's cage. He then shot and scored on an almost impossible angle from behind the net.
Detroit then took a 3-1 lead late in the second period when David Legwand redirected Johan Franzen's shot in the crease at 16:36 on the power play.
Blueliner Sami Salo brought the Bolts within one with 4:29 remaining in regulation with his 99th career goal. The Lightning continued to threaten with only one goal separating them from the Red Wings, but they were unable to score as they dropped their first decision this season against Detroit.
UP NEXT – Tampa Bay opens up a six-game homestand at the Tampa Bay Times Forum against Atlantic Division rival, the Canadiens, Tuesday. While the Bolts have a 2-1 lead in the season series versus Montreal, all three games have been decided by one goal and have gone to extra time/shootouts. The Lightning's homestand also features the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars this coming week.