TAMPA, Florida -- The Tampa Bay Lightning got two third period goals from Tyler Johnson on Friday night to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the first-round playoff series, 5-2. With the win, the Lightning own a 2-0 series lead over the Red Wings.
"The playoffs are a rollercoaster, and you don't want to be on the highs and lows, you want to be right in the middle," Johnson said. "I think our team stayed composed, played well, and we just kept on grinding."
The game was intense at Amalie Arena with 14 penalties called between the two sides. Justin Abdelkader of the Red Wings was handed a misconduct penalty with 54 seconds left as he left Tampa Bay's Mike Blunden with a bloody face to end the game.
"It's just a scrum. It's just part of the game. It happens," Blunden said. "Emotions get high, and unfortunately my visor came down and split me open. It's part of the game. It's part of the playoffs."
Ben Bishop had 30 saves for Tampa Bay, who are without leading scorer Steven Stamkos and top defenseman Anton Stralman. Jimmy Howard allowed four goals for the Red Wings and stopped just 26 shots. Detroit went 1-for-7 on power plays, while Tampa Bay went 1-for-6.
"We've got to take care of business at home," Howard said.
The scoreboard lit up for the first time as Nikita Kucherov scored his third goal of the series on a shot from the right circle that flew over the left shoulder of Howard.
At 3:30 in the second period, Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored his first career postseason goal.
Three minutes later, Brian Boyle scored his first of the series off assists from Jonathan Drouin and Braydon Coburn to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
Brad Richards drilled a shot between the pipes and into the net at 4:27 in the third period to tie the game up, 2-2. Richards scored on the teams fifth power-play of the night. Prior to the goal, the Red Wings were 0-for-8 in the series.
However, Johnson scored back-to-back goals for the Lightning and Alex Killorn had no problem finishing with an empty net to secure the 5-2 victory in Game 2.
Johnson finished with two goals and two assists, which earned him first star of the game honors. Drouin was the second star and Ryan Callahan was the third star, both from Tampa Bay.
"The kid has got a lot of heart. He is a huge part of our team," Boyle, the center for the Lightning, said of Johnson. "He is leading the way right now. It is huge for us."
Detroit out shot Tampa Bay 32-31 for the second straight game, but were unable to come away with the victory.
In the regular season, Detroit won both home games against Tampa Bay. The Red Wings will return to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan for a much needed win in Game 3 on Sunday.
"My No. 1 focus is on us playing good hockey," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "We've got to make sure that we play with great intensity. We've got to make sure we control our emotions ... and concentrate on the things it takes to win hockey games."