Wings opponents feature offensive firepower, Yzerman

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

So, who are the Tampa Bay Lightning?

The Red Wings face the Lightning in Round 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Red Wings were 1-2-1 against the Lightning this season.

Here are 5 quick things to know about the Lightning:

1. The Lightning can score goals.

They led the NHL with 3.16 goals per game, and had the second best five-on-five goals for/against ratio (1.31), although the power play struggled at 18th overall (the Red Wings were second).

The offensive depth up and down the lineup is impressive. There's a threat offensively on all four lines.

"They can score like crazy," coach Mike Babcock said.

2. Get to know these names.

Steven Stamkos. The Lightning forward was second in the league with 43 goals (he had 72 points total) and has one of the most lethal shots in the game.

Tyler Johnson. The elite skater and playmaker had 43 assists (72 points) and has quietly developed into one of the best offensive players in the game.

Valtteri Filppula. The former Red Wing didn't have the season he had the season before in Tampa Bay (48 points, was minus-14) but could be a nemesis against his former team.

Victor Hedman. On a defense that is battered and bruised, the 6-foot-7 Hedman plays a lot of minutes and will be likely given the task of slowing down the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

Ben Bishop. The 6-foot-7 Bishop has developed into one of the premier goaltenders in the league, with a sparking 40-13-5 record, four shutouts, a .916 save percentage and 2.32 goal against average.

But Bishop is largely untested in the playoffs.

3. The Yzerman factor.

Yes, this is the team whose general manager is Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman.

Yzerman has built the team in the Red Wings' image for the most part, with a strong emphasis on drafting and player development.

It's worked, with the Lightning having as much depth as any franchise in the league.

Also, coach Jon Cooper is a Lansing native.

4. Home ice?

It'll be interesting to see how many Red Wings fans will actually be inside of Amalie Arena.

The Red Wings usually have a strong presence inside of the building, with many snowbirds populating the arena.

But the Lightning issued a statement late in the regular season saying they'll be attempting to confine ticket sales to Florida residents.

5. Special skills.

The Lightning special teams were 18th in the league on the power play and 10th on the penalty kill.

The Red Wings were second on the power play and 16th on the penalty kill.

How each team is able to defend against the opposing team's power play could be crucial.

The Lightning don't have the gaudy statistics on the power play, but the offensive personnel they have make it dangerous each time they step on the ice.

Red Wings-Lightning playoff schedule

(Games 5-7 if necessary)

Game 1: Thursday, at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. (CNBC)

Game 2: Saturday, at Tampa Bay, 3 p.m. (NBC)

Game 3: Tuesday, at Detroit, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

Game 4: Thursday April 23, at Detroit, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

Game 5: Saturday April 25, at Tampa Bay, time and TV TBD

Game 6: Monday April 27, at Detroit, time and TV TBD

Game 7: Wednesday April 29, at Tampa Bay, time and TV TBD