Tampa Bay was the best home team going into the postseason. They have, however, become the next team to lose two games at home this postseason. Every single series in the Western Conference, as well as this one, the winning team (or in Minnesota's case, the leading team) stole two games on the road.
Petr Mrazek is the only goaltender this playoffs with two shutouts, after shutting out the Lightning in Tampa Bay, a task that most critics would have thought impossible for any goaltender to do. Petr Mrazek has been a star for the Red Wings this postseason, and Mike Babcock seems to have made the right decision on whom to put in net for this series. Would this be a different series with Jimmy Howard in net for the Red Wings? Most likely, as Petr Mrazek has literally saved the Red Wings all three games in this series.
The Red Wings defense was also great tonight as well, and has gotten better as the series has went on. The Johnson line was shut down for the first time all series. Steven Stamkos didn't have any chances at all during even strength. Ryan Callahan wasn't as physically aggressive and noticeable as normal, and Ben Bishop had what would be his worst game of the series giving up three goals as the fourth goal was an empty net goal.
Justin Abdelkader has been a dominant force for the Red Wings since he returned in game three of this series, and while he did not earn any goals, his presence was definitely felt all over the ice, being extremely aggressive in Game five.
What helped the Red Wings pull off the win in the Amalie the most were their role players. Drew Miller had a fantastic night, working the penalty kill when needed, as well as scoring a goal. Riley Sheahan had a goal for Detroit as well, as did defenseman Danny Dekeyser (empty netter), with a little bit of help from Pavel Datsyuk, who scored another goal as well. Detroit won the game on special teams, scoring two of their four goals on the power play, going 2 of 4 with the man advantage tonight, while holding Tampa Bay scoreless going 0 for 3.
Underrated stars for the Red Wings who have gone under looked so far are Kyle Quincey and Luke Glendening, as both added assists today, as well as played extremely well on the defensive end. Darren Helm also has had an impact on this series that has gone unnoticed most of the time, but his impact on the ice has been large against the Lightning.
For Tampa to tie the series in Detroit and save themselves from elimination, the Lightning must find a way to get the Johnson line going like they did in Game four in Detroit on Thursday night. The other key, is Ben Bishop must return to how he played in Game two in Tampa. If Tyler Johnson, Steven Stamkos, and Ben Bishop have good games for Tampa, they could get the opportunity for another home game that would make the series a full seven games.
The next game will be played in Detroit on Monday, depending on the result of other games. With it being an elimination game for the Lightning, it should make for a fun battle, as Petr Mrazek looks to help his team get to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since their last season in the Western Conference.
The winner of this series is guaranteed to play the winner of the Montreal Canadiens versus Ottawa Senators series, as Montreal won the first three, but lost Game four in Ottawa and Game five at home, sending Ottawa back to home ice advantage for Game six, in a surprising comeback from the Senators.