Hockey World Blog

Tampa Bolts Home Even with Detroit

With their backs against the wall, the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied with two goals late in the third period to head back home tied 2-2.

With a pivotal Game 5 on deck Saturday afternoon, the Red Wings could be taking another spin on the goaltending carousel with Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek with their season on the line. The Red Wings were less than six minutes away from taking a commanding 3-1 series lead when Tyler Johnson put the Bolts on his back and rallied for two goals and three points. His first goal was a snipe from the left circle over Mrazek’s shoulder while the game-winner was a cross-crease pass from Victor Hedman 2:25 into the extra period.

The game turned on a dime late in the third, beginning with injuries to defenseman Brendan Smith and center Luke Glendening. Glendening was basically assaulted by Hedman on the ice and only received two minutes for it (as did Glendening). To quote Oalaf Sanderson in D2: The Mighty Ducks, “Two minutes well worth it”. Two minutes after Hedman and Landon Ferraro (serving Glendening’s penalty) left the penalty box Johnson scored the first goal of the night for Tampa Bay.

This is also a great time to eat my words when I wrote that the Red Wings will miss the playoffs in July. And for some period of time late in the season when Howard and Mrazek couldn’t establish themselves as a true No. 1 goalie my prediction looked pretty good. For the Red Wings to win this series, they MUST win Game 5. There’s no way I can see them dropping Game 5 and winning two in a row. We are all aware how important home ice is in the playoffs and it showed for the first 114 minutes of the Detroit set of games.

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