Tampa Bay Falls To Red Wings, 4-3
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:55 AM
Penalties Prove the Turning Point
It was penalty trouble, not lack of effort, which brought about Tampa Bay’s loss to the Detroit Red Wings tonight. The final score, 4-3, turned on two Red Wing power play goals early in the third period.
Up to that point, Tampa Bay was leading the defending Stanley Cup champions after two periods, 2-1. The Lightning broke on top at 14:09 of the opening stanza when Mark Recchi blasted a shot that eluded Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood and slipped beneath his blocker and into the net. The score was Recchi’s third goal of the season and Lukas Krajicek and Radim Vrbata earned assists.
Before the first period came to a close, the Lightning stretched the advantage to two goals when Jussi Jokinen ripped a cross-ice pass from Andrej Meszaros passed a diving Osgood. The power play goal came at 18:19, while Red Wing forward Henrik Zetterberg was in the penalty box for interference. Paul Ranger was also awarded an assist on the play. The goal was Jokinen’s sixth of the season, which ties him for the team lead with Lightning Captain Vincent Lecavalier
At the other end of the ice, Tampa Bay goaltender Olaf Kolzig was doing everything possible to make the lead stand up. He stopped all seven of Detroit’s first period shots, several from point-blank range.
Detroit cut the lead to 2-1 early in the second period when Pavel Datsyuk, standing in front of the crease, tipped in a Niklas Lindstrom shot from the point. Beyond that, Kolzig was the equal to the other 17 shots the Red Wings fired on net in the period. Before the Lightning could get off the ice with the 2-1 advantage, however, they were called for three penalties within an 18 second-span. All three infractions came during the final half minute of the period and would serve to turn the momentum of the contest around.
The Red Wings, who boast the NHL’s best power play, took advantage of the penalties as the third period opened. Zetterberg got a power play goal to tie the score when he bounced the puck passed Kolzig off a scramble in front of the Lightning net. The goal came 1:38 into the period. Only 52 seconds later, still on the power play, Mikael Samuelsson got the lead for Detroit when his shot from the top of the right circle found the net.
“You can't give the best team in the world a two-minute, 5-on-3 and another two-minute, 5-on-4,” Lightning Coach Barry Melrose said. “Detroit doesn't do that. Detroit doesn't beat itself. Tonight we beat ourselves."
Johan Franzen extended the Detroit advantage to 4-2 when he converted a cross-ice pass from Samuelsson at 9:21 of the period.
Tampa Bay battled back and pulled within one goal of the Red Wings when Matt Pettinger notched his first goal of the season at 15:42. Martin St. Louis
and Vaclav Prospal were awarded assists. For St. Louis, the point was his seventh in the last seven games.
That was as close as the Lightning could come, however, as Osgood ran his record against Tampa Bay to a lifetime 17-0.
Kolzig, who made several highlight-reel saves throughout the contest, stopped 35 of 39 shots.
paced the team in shots on net with four and the Bolts, led by Prospal’s three hits, out hit the Red Wings, 14 – 10.
Tampa Bay will look to get back on the winning track when they travel to Raleigh on Sunday afternoon to meet the Carolina Hurricanes. After that game they return to Tampa to settle in for four home games.