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Larkin scores in return, but Red Wings fall to Lightning in OT

Anthony Mantha fight Red Wings
Posted at 5:46 AM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 05:46:52-05

DETROIT — Blake Coleman scored 2:17 into overtime, giving the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

Coleman’s goal was set up by Tyler Johnson, who also scored, on a 2-on-1 rush to extend the defending Stanley Cup champions’ season-high point streak to nine games.

“Detroit gave us everything they had and it took a helluva play in OT to win this one,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Tampa Bay is 18-4-2 with the NHL’s best winning percentage and has 38 points, tying Toronto for the most in the league.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be as good as we can be,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said.

Detroit’s Dylan Larkin had a tiebreaking goal midway through the second period, and the rebuilding team kept the lead against the NHL power for 20-plus minutes. Erik Cernak pulled Tampa Bay into a 3-all tie 9:40 into the third.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 20 shots for the Central Division-leading Lightning. Thomas Greiss made 25 saves for the last-place Red Wings.

Detroit’s Adam Erne scored the first goal, 3:04 into the game, taking advantage of Steven Stamkos getting called for high sticking. Brayden Point made it 1-all late in the first period on a power play and Johnson scored 35 seconds later to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead that they couldn’t keep.

Tampa Bay outshot the Red Wings 13-6 in the first period and flipped the advantage with more aggressive play in the second, outshooting the visitors 12-6

“We played in their end for a lot of the second period, and I thought we were the better team for most of that period,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said.

The Red Wings tied it midway through the second on Patrik Nemeth’s one-timer from above the left circle and Larkin’s wrist shot that beat Vasilevskiy’s blocker. Cernak slipped a shot from the middle of the right circle between Greiss’s pads for his first goal of the season after assisting on a go-ahead goal in the first period.

The Lightning are 4-0-1 on their season-high six-game road trip.

Detroit lost its previous games in regulation by a combined score of 16-4 and had four days off before playing Tampa Bay.

“They haven’t played in a while and were kind of waiting for us,” Hedman said. “They were better, especially in the second period, and we pushed back in the third.”

FANS IN THE STANDS

The Red Wings welcomed the general public to buy tickets for the first time this season, taking advantage of a new executive order that allows them to have 750 people attend games.

“It’s great to take a step toward having more people in the building,” Blashill said. “Part of what makes sports special is the interaction with the fans, and playing in an empty building isn’t the same.”

WELCOME BACK

Tampa Bay’s blue line was bolstered with the presence of Cernak (upper body) and Jan Rutta (lower body) from injuries. Cernak took a hit to the head from Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy on Sunday. Rutta had missed two games.

Cernak had a penalty for fighting Anthony Mantha to go along with his goal and assist.

“It’s a great feeling when you get a Gordie Howe hat trick,” he said.

TOOTING HORN

Little Caesars Arena, built in 2017 as part of a project that cost more than $1 billion, had issues with its state-of-the-art sound system in the opening period.

“I thought I was at my kid’s squirt game,” Cooper said. “It was unbelievable.”

The horn sounded for the first of many times in the first period when Tampa Bay was on a power play, which was stopped after 30 seconds while the officials tried to address the issue. The horn went off several more times during the opening period, and it happened so often that the puck didn’t stop as players got used to it.

THE CHAMPS

The Lightning announced Tuesday that its Stanley Cup banner will be raised to the rafters on Saturday night, when fans will be able to attend their game against Nashville. Fans were unable to attend the season-opening game on Jan. 13, when the banner was to be hoisted to the top of the team’s arena.

UP NEXT

Detroit hosts Tampa Bay on Thursday night in the third of eight scheduled games.