Detroit Red Wings defeat Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3, cut series deficit to 2-1

DETROIT, Michigan -- The Detroit Red Wings won 2-0 over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even though the Lightning dropped the game, they lead 2-1 in the series over the Red Wings.

"The more desperate team won the hockey game," Lightning coach Jon Cooper lamented.

Before the national anthem, there was a moment of silence to honor Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, who passed away last week at the age of 83 years old. After the pregame ceremonies, the madness started at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings got the first real chance of the game with a two-man advantage for 59 seconds with 4:27 left in the first period. Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat both went to the penalty box for tripping. The Red Wings missed multiple times and could never capitalize on the 5-on-3 advantage for about a minute of play. 

Detroit led 12-9 in shots, two which came on the 5-on-3, after the first period of play. It was not a good first period for Detroit, who missed many opportunities. Tampa Bay were lucky to survive without allowing a goal due to the outstanding work of goalie Ben Bishop

Penalty after penalty, but Detroit still could not find a power play goal in the second period. The Red Wings, however, broke through with a slap shot from the left face off circle past Bishop and into the net by Andreas Athanasiou. The goal gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead with 7:18 to play in the period. 

Detroit Red Wings center Andreas Athanasiou (72) celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second period of Game 3 in a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Detroit
Detroit Red Wings center Andreas Athanasiou (72) celebrates his goal. (Paul Sancya, AP)

"The old knuckle puck," he said. "You never know where it's going to go."

With 2:38 to play in the second period, the puck went off both of Henrik Zetterberg's skates and past Bishop between the pipes. The goal was reviewed by the officials and then reviewed by the Lightning, but all in all it was ruled that there was no kicking motion. The first goal in 14 games for Zetterberg gave Detroit a 2-0 edge. 

Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his second period goal with Dylan Larkin #71 while playing the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on April 17, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (April 16, 2016 - Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)
Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his second period goal. (April 16, 2016 - Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)

The Lightning were out shot 11-3 by the Red Wings in the second period and were out shot 23-12 up to that point in the game.

Detroit and Tampa Bay played an extremely even third period. Bishop headed to the bench for an extra skater and Brendan Smith tempted Braydon Coburn to get physical in front of the Detroit net. Coburn laid out Smith and he got an interference penalty. 

The Red Wings ran the clock out and had no problem finishing the 2-0 win in Game 3 over the Lightning. Petr Mrazek stepped up big time for Detroit, making 16 saves for his third career playoff shutout.

Petr Mrazek #34 of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during a face-off in the first period of Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on April 17, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (April 16, 2016 - Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)
Petr Mrazek #34 of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during a face-off in the first period. (April 16, 2016 - Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)

"I know they switched goaltenders, but I don't know if they even needed a goaltender tonight," Copper said.

After the horn, the Lightning players went after Zetterberg, which called the Red Wings to the rescue. Smith and Justin Abdelkader got into the mix and tossed a few punches. Brian Boyle and Abdelkader got tangled, but the referees got everyone off the ice safely. Boyle skated off the ice flapping his arms to indicate that his opponent was too chicken to fight. It was pure promise of an exciting Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena. 

"If he needs to do that, good for him," Abdelkader said.

Up Next

The Red Wings and Lightning will square off in Game 4 on Tuesday at 7:00 PM ET. The game will be at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. 

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