Lightning still own Detroit.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed three goals on 23 shots for the victory.
3:04 DET Erne (3), (Zadina, Hronek)(PP)
12:29 TB Point (8), (Palat, Hedman)(PP)
13:04 TB Johnson (5), (Coleman, Cernak)
6:58 DET Nemeth (2), (Gagner, Namestnikov)
9:04 DET Larkin (5), (Fabbri, Hronek)
9:40 TB Cernak (1), (Maroon)
2:17 TB Coleman (5), (Johnson, Sergachev)
Erik Cernak and Blake Coleman were the game’s first and second stars.
Yet another game where I thought the Lightning got away with playing down to their competition a bit and taking a period off. They had a strong First Period buoyed by some power play time where their puck movement was pretty scintillating, and I think they thought the game would be a laugher despite only having a 2-1 margin. The PP time dried up the rest of the way and they really sleep walked through the Second Period at 5v5 when Detroit manufactured a couple of goals and next thing you know the team’s in another knife fight. I’m not going to wring my hands too much about it, but this is the problem when you play in a subpar division like this. You can pick up bad habits.
As it was, I believe this is something like Tampa Bay’s zillionth straight win against Detroit, due in no small part to Cernak’s Gordie Howe hat trick. It was nice to see Coleman get a monkey off his back with the OT winner, too. As many chances as he generates, if a share of them start going in he’ll become a big producer quickly.
Cal Foote was -1 in 10:24. In a close game with Cernak and Rutta both back he saw his ice time toned back down again. Not a critique, just reality.
Alex Barre-Boulet was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 10:43. I thought he flashed more in his first game, but that was in no small part because he featured a bit more on a higher line. As it was, he was decent. Had one scoring chance and you see the hockey sense offensively when he’s out there.