Mrazek, Wings get the job done
Somehow, someway, Petr Mrazek made just enough saves for the Red Wings to hold off the Lightning for a 3-2 victory in Game 1.
Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and Luke Glendening scored a big third period goal as the Wings made timely plays to secure the win.
Tampa Bay outshot the Wings 46-14 and the Wings played on their heels for the entirety of the third period.
Tampa Bay had three power plays in the third period, but the Wings killed them all as the Lightning went 0-for-7 with the man-advantage for the night.
The way Mrazek played was something special, but who knows if he'll be able to keep it up should the Wings let the Lightning pelt him with shots like that for the duration of the series.
Datsyuk reminded us all tonight why he's one of the greats. He made veteran plays on two very different goals when his team needed a pick-me-up.
And you can't overlook the wonderful two-way play of Glendening on his spectacular backhanded third period goal.
Who knows if the Wings can keep it up and hold off a hard-charging Tampa Bay team for the whole series, but for one night, they got the job done.
Mrazek shines on power play
Petr Mrazek continues to keep the Wings in this game. The young Wings goalie is coming up big tonight. This time he made five saves on the power play.
The Wings are playing on their heels. The shots are now 40-13in favor of Tampa Bay.
It's still 3-2 Wings with 6:22 left to play.
Wings called for another penalty
Danny DeKeyser is heading back to the box after being called for high-sticking with 9:06 left to play. This will be Tampa Bay's sixth power play of the night. They're 0-for-5 so far.
Nesterov beats Mrazek
Tampa Bay was pushing, and they got their goal with 11:34 left to play to cut the Wings lead to 3-2.
Nikita Nesterov fired a wrist shot through traffic and past Petr Mrazek and the Lightning turned in a wonderful shift that paid off with a goal.
Shots are 34-12 in favor of Tampa Bay. The Wings still have some work to do.
Glendening provides some magic
Luke Glendening scored a shorthanded goal after he made a great defensive play and got down the ice before spinning in the middle of the Tampa Bay zone and scoring on a backhand to give the Wings a 3-1 lead with 14:10 left to play.
Wings on their heels
Marek Ziklicky was called for cross-checking, and once again, the Lightning are going on the power play.
It's the fifth power play of the night for Tampa Bay.
Petr Mrazek has made sketchy plays behind the net twice so far in the third period. He needs to keep his head in the game as the Wings try to hold on to this slim lead.
Defense comes up big for Wings
The Lightning put a couple shots on goal and Petr Mrazek made some nice saves as the Wings held Tampa Bay to just three shots on the power play.
The Wings still hold a 2-1 lead with 17:14 left to play.
Lightning going on power play
Danny DeKeyser was called for interference just 28 seconds into the third period and Tampa Bay is going on the power play.
There didn't seem to be much there on the call. DeKeyser definitely has some beef with the refs here.
Power play produces nothing as 2nd period ends
The Wings didn't do much with their power play to end the 2nd period, and they'll have to settle for a 2-1 lead heading into the 3rd.
The Lightning have had plenty of chances to get even, but Petr Mrazek has more than done his part in helping the Wings to a lead.
Mrazek has 26 saves and has had to face a barrage of breakaway opportunities for Tampa Bay.
The Wings have been opportunistic with their goals, and no doubt having Pavel Datsyuk on their side has something to do with that. He has both goals tonight for the Wings, and both came on veteran-like plays.
However, it is evident right now the Tampa Bay is the quicker team. The Wings haves just 10 shots on goal and and the Lightning are controlling the pace of play. If the Wings want to win this game, they're going to need, in all likelihood, at least one third period goal.
Wings going on power play
Cedric Paquette was called for hooking and the Wings will get a power play opportunity with 2:28 left to play in the second period.
Multiple penalties produce few chances
It's still 2-1 Wings with 9:11 left to play in the 2nd period.
The Lightning spent just 49 seconds on their initial power play because of an interference penalty on former Wings Valtteri Filppula.
The team's went 4-on-4 for 1:07 and the Wings were just four seconds from a short power play of their own before Darren Helm was called for interference.
After a little more than half a minute of 4-on-4, the Lightning got the man-advantage for just over a minute, which the Wings killed off.
Despite all these penalties, there wasn't any real chances to speak of.
The real troublesome number right now is shots. Tampa Bay is outshooting the Wings 22-7.
Lightning going on power play
The Wings were called for too many men on the ice and Tampa Bay is going on the power play for the second time tonight.
Wings fighting off Tampa attack
Petr Mrazek has made a couple big saves as the Wings try to fight off another Lightning goal.
The Wings lead 2-1 with 13:30 left to play in the second period, and the good news is that they've yet to give up a goal to an offensive set.
The bad news is the Lightning are getting a lot of chances with open ice in front of them. Braydon Coburn had a good look at net on a 2-on-1 for the Lightning, but Mrazek got the glove up and kept his team in front.
Power play produces quick goal
It took just eight seconds for the Wings to take advantage of their power play as Pavel Datsyuk netted his second goal of the night to give them a 2-1 lead in the 2nd period.
The Wings lost the draw to start the period, but Darren Helm hustled to the boards and got the puck to Datsyuk in the middle of the zone. Tomas Jurco screened Ben Bishop beautifully as Datsyuk put the puck between his teammates legs and into the back of the net.
Wings kill power play, left to bemoan Lightning goal
Petr Mrazek made four saves on the Tampa Bay power play and made another nice save with 31 seconds remaining in the period just before Anton Stralman was called for interference.
The Wings finished the period on the power play, where they fired a couple pucks toward the net to no avail. They'll start the second period with 1:28 left on the man-advantage.
Drew Miller had a chance to get a shorthanded goal back for the Wings early during the Lightning power play, but Ben Bishop made a nice save as Miller never really looked comfortable going in on goal.
The Wings got the first goal of the game, but a mental lapse cost them the lead going into the second period.
Tampa Bay really outplayed the Wings in the first period. They outshot the Wings, 10-3, and outhit the Wings, 12-7.
The Wings are going to have to dial up the intensity in the second period and get more pucks on net.
Tampa Bay going on power play
The Wings couldn't get anything going on the power play and to make matters worse, Pavel Datsyuk was called for interference just seconds after the man-advantage came to an end.
It's 1-1 with 3:23 to play in the first period.
Lightning strike back shorthanded
Brian Boyle picked the pocket of Marek Zidlicky and skated in alone on Petr Mrazek where scored a shorthanded goal just 27 seconds into the Red Wings power play.
Wings going on power play
Pavel Datsyuk drew the first penalty of the game as Ryan Callahan was called for holding deep in the Lightning zone.
Wings score on first shot of game
Pavel Datsyuk got the Wings on the board as they took a 1-0 lead with 10:57 to play in the first period.
Datsyuk deflected the puck in past Ben Bishop stick-side after Kyle Quincey fired it in a little wide.
Previous to the goal, the Lightning had a 4-0 advantage in shots.
Wings dodge early bullet
The Lightning had a great chance in the opening minute when Tyler Johnson skated in free on the glove side of Petr Mrazek, but with the stick-side wide open, Niklas Kronwall did a nice job on the back of Nikita Kucherov to disrupt the Tampa Bay forward before he could get a stick on the pass.
Uneasy feeling follows Wings into playoffs
Petr Mrazek gets the start in goal for the Wings, and while the goalie situation is the most talked about aspect following this team into the playoffs, it's the guys playing in front of Mrazek that may have a bigger hand in whether or not the Wings can pull off the upset.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Jimmy Howard in net for Game 2 should Mrazek lose tonight, but the thing to watch is how the defense plays in front of the 23-year-old netminder.
This defense has to show urgency in getting pucks out of the zone. The offense will come if the defense can efficiently clear the puck without a thought of how it will lead to a big play on the other end of the ice. If the urgency isn't there in the early going of Game 1, it's hard to see how the Wings can win this series.