Wings pay for mistakes in Game 2 disaster

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Tampa, Fla. — The Red Wings have to feel fortunate they're leaving here with a split.

They lost 5-1 to Tampa Bay Saturday in Game 2, and head home to Game 3 Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. FSD/97.1), but have largely been outplayed in the first two games of this series.

The Red Wings played better Saturday — there was more time spent in the Tampa Bay end and better pressure overall — but the explosive Lightning did a much better capitalizing on opportunities in Game 2.

Box score: Lightning 5, Red Wings 1

"They got the goals," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "If you actually look at the game, compared to the first game, we had a lot more chances today. We played a lot better. The mistakes we did really cost us, and they scored on them.

"Other than that, it was a step forward for us."

Tomas Tatar had the lone Red Wings goal, cutting the Tampa Bay lead to 4-1 early in the third period.

Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson had two goals (one a power play). Alex Killorn, Andrej Sustr and Valtteri Filppula (power play) had the other Lightning goals.

Petr Mrazek stopped 14 of 18 shots before being replaced by Jimmy Howard to begin the third period (Howard stopped 11 of 12).

Mrazek will get the start in Game 3, as coach Mike Babcock said it was simply a chance for Mrazek to regroup after the Red Wings defensive breakdowns.

"Petr played pretty good," Babcock said. "We gave up some slam dunks."

The Lightning broke the game open with three second period goals, even as the Red Wings felt they were playing some of their best hockey of the series.

"We had it going pretty good there," Babcock said. "They scored three in the second, that might have been our best period actually.

"But we made big mistakes today. We've just got to go back to the drawing board."

Mistakes through the neutral zone and losing Lightning players in the Red Wings' zone cost the Red Wings dearly.

"The defensive side of things, the neutral zone a few times when they just skated right through us, we have to be better with the details, knowing were to be on different occasions," Niklas Kronwall said.

Killorn made it 2-0 getting behind the Red Wings defense and jamming the puck at the post between Mrazek's skate and the post at 7:56.

Sustr pushed the lead to 3-0 at 14:48, shortly after the Lightning killed a Red Wings power play.

Filppula slipped a check along the boards and fed Sustr at the far post, who pinched in from the point and whipped a shot past Mrazek.

Johnson broke free alone after Danny DeKeyser and the Lightning's Nikita Kucherov got tangled up near the blue line, DeKeyser tumbling to the ice.

Johnson scored his second goal of the game, snapping a shot past Mrazek with 38 seconds left in the second period.

"The breakaway, I thought I would have it and he put it high over my blocker," said Mrazek of the goal that he was most disappointed about.