Lightning rally to beat Red Wings in playoff opener

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 13, 2016 10:33 PM

(The Sports Xchange) - The Tampa Bay Lightning rallied from a goal down in the second period, scoring on a midair deflection in front of the net by Alex Killorn for a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings to open the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday.

Less than two minutes after a Lightning goal was called off on replay, Nikita Kucherov -- who already had scored two goals -- poked the puck loose behind the Detroit goal and fed it wide to Tyler Johnson, who fired a shot across the net that Killorn redirected past goalie Jimmy Howard for a 3-2 lead with 11:08 to play.

Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop made that lead stand, finishing with 34 saves, including five in the final 1:10 after Detroit pulled its goalie for an extra attacker.

The Lightning, who host Game 2 on Friday, looked to have taken the lead with 13:05 left in the third period on a goal by defenseman Victor Hedman, but Detroit challenged and replays showed Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin was offside as Tampa Bay advanced the puck.

Tampa Bay entered the playoffs without two of the best players. Top scorer Steven Stamkos and defenseman Anton Stralman were both injured during the final two weeks of the regular season.

A back-and-forth game went to the third period tied 2-2, with the Lightning responding after the Red Wings went ahead with two goals in less than two minutes.

Tampa Bay tied the score on Kucherov's second goal of the game. Defenseman Braydon Coburn took the puck in a wide circle to the left of the goal, then fed a pass to Kucherov, who poked in his own rebound past Howard with 10:31 left in the period.

Detroit had flipped a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead early in the second period on two long shots.

Mike Green scored on a knuckler past the stick of Tampa Bay's J.T. Brown to tie the score with 17:49 left in the period.

Then another long shot by Kyle Quincey was redirected in front of the net by Justin Abdelkader just 116 seconds later for a 2-1 lead.

The game had a major fight in the second period that put five players in the penalty box -- Detroit's Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Dylan Larkin for two minutes each for roughing and Coburn for four minutes and Killorn for two minutes for interference.

Tampa Bay had jumped ahead early on a Kucherov goal.

Killorn backhanded a pass off the boards to Johnson, who sped up the ice and fed Kucherov on the far side to beat Howard for a 1-0 lead with 13:37 left in the first period.