TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning completed a successful opening stretch at home.
Stamkos scored his first goal of the season, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Thursday night.
Stamkos ended a 16-game regular-season goal drought dating to last season from the slot with 4:41 left in the second. The goal gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead.
“It’s always nice to get your first of the year and get it going,” Stamkos said.
Vasilevskiy, 7-0-0 against Detroit, stopped Christoffer Ehn’s shot during a 2-on-none short-handed break in the first and made a post-to-post glove save on Frans Nielsen during a second period 2-on-1.
Brayden Point and Alex Killorn also scored for the Lightning, who went 4-1-0 on a season-opening homestand. Tampa Bay has won 12 in a row against the Red Wings.
“You get four of five, you have to be happy,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
Detroit, winless at 0-5-2, got a goal from Luke Glendening, and Jimmy Howard stopped 28 shots. It’s the Red Wings’ worst season-opening stretch since opening the 1985-86 season with eight losses and a tie.
“It’s not fun, that’s for sure” Howard said. “We’ve just to keep moving along.”
The Red Wings were coming off a 7-3 drubbing at Montreal Monday.
“The second period at Montreal was a joke,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We lost our structure totally. I thought we got our structure back, for sure.
Howard made a strong save on Stamkos during a 3-on-1 in the third.
Killorn made it 3-1 on a late empty-netter.
Point opened the scoring 7:33 into the game when Yanni Gourde’s pass went off his skate and pass Howard. Glendening tied it on a rebound at 6:30 of the second.
Tampa Bay remains the lone NHL team not allowing a power-play goal, running its season-opening streak to 23 after Detroit went 0 for 5.
“Huge PK,” Vasilevskiy said. “I thought we played well.”
Tampa Bay right wing Ryan Callahan played for the first time since offseason right shoulder surgery.
The Red Wings injury-depleted defensive corps got the return of Trevor Daley, who had an assist after missing four games with a neck injury. Mike Green (virus) and Jonathan Ericsson (upper body) both practiced with the team. Danny DeKeyser (hand) is also out.
NOTES: Tampa Bay has also won 12 straight at home against the Red Wings. … Stamkos has an eight-game point streak against Detroit (six goals, 11 points). … Tampa Bay acquired F Mitch Hults from Anaheim in return for future considerations and assigned him to Syracuse of the AHL. C Cory Conacher was reassigned and F Danick Martel sent for a conditional stint to Syracuse. … Red Wings Anthony Mantha is minus-11 on the season.
Red Wings: Play Saturday at Florida.
Lightning: Start a four-game trip Saturday at Minnesota.
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