DETROIT The Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t the first two teams that come to mind when you think of fighting and hatred. But having played 10 Stanley Cup playoff games against each other in the past two years, those words might apply heading into Tuesday night’s Game 4.
“We don like each other,” Lightning forward Cedric Paquette. don’t have goons; we don’t fight as much as other teams in the league. That’s playoffs. We don’t like each other. That’s playoff hockey.”
Lightning forward Brian Boyle tested the willpower of Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader by pulling out the chicken move when Abdelkader wouldn’t fight at the end of Game 3. Facing a possible suspension, Abdelkader was smart to pass, but it will be interesting to see whether any of those hostilities carry into Game 4.
“[Boyle] can do whatever he wants,” said Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. “Abby, why would he go? The game is over. Why would he take a chance or get injured? It’s one thing if you come in to protect your own guys this was just he wanted to get Abby. There’s no sense. I think Abby made a smart play even though I know he wanted to stand up for himself. . The team goes first and your own pride goes last.”
The Lightning were seeking retribution for Abdelkader’s pummeling of winger Mike Blunden in Game 2.
Matching the desperation of a team facing a 3 0 deficit can be difficult, and the Lightning didn’t match Red Wings’ will to win in Game 3. With that wake up call making it clear the Red Wings are willing to make this a series if the Lightning allow it, Tampa Bay needs a big response in Game 4. There a huge difference heading home with a 3 1 series lead or a tied series that threatens to go the distance. The Lightning need much more intensity and desperation than they showed in Game 3.
Tampa Bay also needs to test goalie Petr Mrazek more than Game 3. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill took a risk turning to a goalie who wasn’t particularly good down the stretch in a must win game. In Game 3, it didn matter who was in goal, the Red Wings were so strong in terms of possessing the puck and spent significant time on the power play.
That can continue if the Lightning want to reclaim control of this series again. Mrazek has to be tested.
“We have to shoot pucks,” Paquette said. “I don think we shot the puck enough last game. We have to get traffic in front of him and move east west.”The wholesale authentic nhl jerseys
Red Wings and Lightning might want to work in a power play goal. It was glossed over because Detroit won Game 3 but the Red Wings power play almost blew a major opportunity.
Overall, Detroit is at just 5.9 percent converting in the playoffs. The good news for the Red Wings is that the Lightning are at just 7.1 percent. The Washington Capitals scored more power play goals against the Flyers in the third period on Monday than the Lighting and Red Wings have combined in the playoffs. The team that gets going first on the power play will have a significant edge.
a matter of sticking with it, Red Wings defenseman Mike Green said. talk about it today like we did, make a few minor adjustments. But other than that, we stick with what works. not from a lack of opportunity. The Lightning and Red Wings have combined for 215 penalty minutes in this series, most in the NHL. By comparison, the Ducks and Predators have combined for 30.