NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 30th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (41-24-9) at Detroit Red Wings (34-26-14), 5 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Coming off a much-needed victory, the Detroit Red Wings
try to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first time this season as the
Atlantic Division rivals wrap their series on Sunday evening.
This is the fifth and final meeting this season between the clubs barring a
postseason matchup. The Lightning have won the first four, taking the initial
two beyond regulation.
Tampa Bay came into the season 1-13-0 with a tie all-time in Detroit, but has
won twice in Motown this season.
Fighting for one of the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference, the
Red Wings snapped a three-game slide with a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple
Leafs on Saturday. Darren Helm sparked the victory with his first career hat
Jimmy Howard added 25 saves and Gustav Nyquist pushed his point streak to
eight straight games with a goal. He has 10 goals and two assists over his
"We weren't happy with the last couple games, especially our starts. I thought
we had an okay one tonight," Howard said.
The victory caused a little separation in the playoff race. The Red Wings and
Columbus Blue Jackets are tied for the two wild card bids with 80 points each
and eight games to play.
The Washington Capitals and Maple Leafs are both two points back. The Caps
have eight games to play as well, while the Leafs have just six games
The Red Wings are a distant nine points behind the third-place Tampa Bay
Lightning, who have gone 7-0-4 in their past 11 games. The Bolts sit two
points back of the Montreal Canadiens for second place in the division.
The Bolts also were in action on Saturday when they posted a 4-3 overtime
victory against the Buffalo Sabres. Steven Stamkos scored the winner 1:53 into
the extra frame to atone for an earlier mistake.
Stamkos had two goals and an assist in the win, but also put the puck into his
own net during a delayed penalty. He tried to send a pass back to the blue
line, but missed his target as the puck slid into the Lightning net to give
the Sabres a short-lived lead.
"I've seen it a couple times, never live," Stamkos said. "You see it on the
highlights. I'm sure I'll make them now in the un-top 10, but as soon as it
went over our [defenseman's] stick I knew it had a pretty good chance to go
Ryan Callahan and Alex Killorn finished with a goal apiece for the Lightning,
winners in seven of their last nine games. Ben Bishop allowed two goals on 28
shots in the win.
Callahan has logged five goals and 12 points since being acquired from the New
York Rangers in exchange for Martin St. Louis, while Stamkos has been able to
total 23 goals and 36 points in just 29 games on the season.
03/30 10:20:25 ET