Live Wings blog: Bolts win Game 4

Bruce Mason
The Detroit News

The Wings threaten in the final 70 seconds with goalie Petr Mrazek pulled for the extra attacker, but cannot find the tying goal.

Tampa Bay wins 3-2 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

A bouncing puck from the slot to the crease was covered by Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop with 8.7 seconds left. Riley Sheahan could not get a shot off in the slot as the puck squirted toward the goal. Tomas Tatar nearly got a stick on the puck, but it was covered by Bishop.

The Wings had a great chance with 1:10 left, but Henrik Zetterberg's pass hopped over the stick of Justin Abdelkader in front of the crease.

Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat scored the game-winning goal with 2:59 left on the power play as Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson was in the penalty box for cross-checking. It was Palat who Ericsson cross-checked.

Nikita Kucherov had two power play goals and an assist. Jonathan Drouin had three assists.

Truth be told, the Wings were fortunate to be tied in the third period. Tampa Bay dominated the play and led 2-0 late in the second period, but the Wings' Darren Helm scored on a fluke goal with 5:07 left. Then with 10 seconds left in the period, Gustav Nyquist tied the game.

Dylan Larkin hit the post on a Wings power play late in the third. The goal light came on, by accident, which fooled the crowd into a cheer.

The Wings were 0-for-4 on the power play and now 1-for-21 in the series.

Game 5 is Thursday at 7 p.m. in Tampa Bay, where the Wings lost Games 1 and 2 of the series.

Mrazek pulled for extra attacker

Wings coach Jeff Blashill calls timeout and pulls goalie Petr Mrazek for the extra attacker.

The Wings trail 3-2 with 1:35 left. They trail the best-of-seven series, 2-1.

The faceoff is in the Tampa Bay zone.

Palat scores 

Ondrej Palat's power play goal with 2:59 left gives Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead.

Jonathan Drouin gets his third assist of the night. Nikita Kucherov gets an assist for his third point of the night (two goals).

Tampa Bay has three power play goals tonight.

Ericsson goes to the box

Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson heads to the penalty box for a flattening Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat with a cross-check.

Tampa Bay heads to the power play.

There's 4:42 left in the third period. It's tied 2-2.

Tampa Bay has scored twice tonight on the power play, both goals by Nikita Kucherov.

Larkin hits the post

Joe Louis Arena begins to cheer, and the goal light comes on.

Did Wings rookie Dylan Larkin score?

The crowd is standing, wondering what happened.

Larkin cut across the crease and sent a backhander past Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop. But it hit the inside of the post — square — and flew in midair back toward Larkin. So close.

It's 2-2 with 6:03 left in the third period. Tampa Bay killed the Detroit power play.

Wings go on power play

Pavel Datsyuk draws a penalty from Tampa Bay's Jason Garrison.

Are you getting nervous, yet? It's 2-2 with 8:00 left in the third period. The Wings are outshooting Tampa Bay 6-2 in the third.

Andreas Athanasiou is now on a line with Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar. (Athanasiou has played 11:32 tonight). Athanasiou sent a pass toward Datsyuk, and Garrison drew a penalty for hooking.

Luke Glendening has won 11-of-18 faceoffs (61 percent).

Wings Gustav Nyquist scores on Lighting goalie Ben Bishop to tie up the game at 2-2 in the second period.

Filppula saves a goal

It's still 2-2 with 10:07 left in the second period.

The Wings nearly took the lead — but the stick of Tampa Bay's Valtteri Filppula prevents the go-ahead goal.

Here's how it transpired: The Wings' Gustav Nyquist left a drop pass in the slot for Dylan Larkin, as Henrik Zetterberg crashed the net. Larkin then sent a pass toward the left post that looked certain to find the stick of Zetterberg.  Fans rose out of their seats at Joe Louis Arena, anticipating a goal.

But Filppula lunged forward and deflected the puck, and it hopped past Zetterberg.

The Wings have scored two goals in each game of this series. Can they get a third? Is this game destined for overtime?

The Wings are 12-3-1 at home since the All-Star Break (includes Game 3 win).

Third period begins

The third period begins. It's 2-2 between the Wings and Lightning.

Gustav Nyquist's goal at the end of the second period jolts life into the Wings. That's the third time in this series the Wings have scored two goals in less than five minutes. All have come in the second period:

  • Game 1: Mike Green and Justin Abdelkader scored 1:56 apart.
  • Game 3: Andreas Athanasiou and Henrik Zetterberg scored 4:40 apart.
  • Game 4: Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist score 4:57 apart.

Nyquist ties it

Gustav Nyquist has redeemed himself. His goal with 10 seconds left in the second period ties the game at 2-2 as the Wings and Lightning head to intermission.

Nyquist's forecheck of Tampa Bay defenseman Jason Garrison forced a turnover that was corralled by the Wings' Riley Sheahan.

From there, Sheahan won a puck battle against Tampa Bay forward Jonathan Drouin and skated to the bottom of the circle, where he flipped the puck over the stick of Tampa Bay defenseman Braydon Coburn. Sheahan's pass landed perfectly into the wheelhouse of Nyquist, who slammed it past Lightning goalie Ben Bishop to send Joe Louis Arena into an uproar.

Suddenly, it's tied.

Who would've thunk it after that second period, in which the Lightning dominated, and the Wings power play failed terribly?

Is Tampa Bay deflated after a crushing goal to end the period?

And what do we make of Nyquist? Can we expect more of this from him? Or is he just a complementary player, kind of like a third-liner in 2008 named Jiri Hudler? 

Nyquist might just need a high-end linemate with more skill (Steven Stamkos in the offseason, maybe?) who he can complement. Sometimes Nyquist does not appear to be a guy who can carry the team in scoring. Look at his production: Three goals in the past 33 playoff games entering tonight.

Or maybe Nyquist was just snakebit. He's had a lot of chances in the series. (Remember this: Pavel Datsyuk suffered a similar goal-less drought. He went 26 playoff games without a goal from the end of 2002, until Game 1 of the 2007 playoffs. He turned out alright.)

Nyquist heads to box

Gustav Nyquist’s disappointing year continues. He takes a penalty with 2:30 left in the second period for goalie interference.

It's 2-1 Tampa Bay.

Nyquist had zero shots in Game 3 and has none tonight.

On a power play in the opening minute of the second period, Nyquist attempted a pass to a teammate at the blue line — but it sailed out of the zone.

His goalie interference penalty comes 2:37 after Darren Helm ignited the Joe Louis Arena crowd that continued to buzz as Dylan Larkin wheeled around the Tampa Bay zone.

Helm scores

The Wings' Darren Helm slams home a seeing-eye puck to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 5:07 left in the second period.

Luke Glendening batted a puck out of midair off his own rebound, and it squirted through traffic, into the crease, and directly in front to Helm. Odd goal, sure, but the Wings will take it considering the power play sputtered again moments earlier.

Powerless play

Cannot hold the puck in the zone. Cannot pass. Cannot shoot. The power play for Detroit has failed in 10 straight chances.

This time around, the Lightning have a better chance shorthanded, when Brian Boyle had a shot that was saved by Petr Mrazek.

The Wings have won 2 of 8 faceoffs on the power play.

Wings go on power play

Dylan Larkin's speed draws a tripping infraction from Cedric Paquette.

There's 7:18 left in the second period. Tampa Bay leads 2-0.

Kucherov strikes again

Nikita Kucherov scores his second power play goal of the night with 9:29 left in the second period. It's 2-0 Tampa Bay.

Kucherov completed a passing play with Jonathan Drouin (two assists), whose dominant night continues.

Drouin is having his way with any Wings player that's on the ice. He won a puck battle against Henrik Zetterberg behind the net, eluded Jonathan Ericsson in the corner, and has lugged the puck throughout the game.

Kucherov scored his fifth goal of the series (it was his seventh point).

Tampa Bay goes on power play

Detroit's Riley Sheahan gets called for slashing at the 9:07 mark.

Tampa Bay leads 1-0 and will head to the power play.

Drouin line dominating

The Lightning's line of Jonathan Drouin-Ondrej Palat-Valtteri Filppula controlled the play for a lengthy stretch in the first period, and continued to dominate in the early stages of the second period, this time against the line of Henrik Zetterberg-Dylan Larkin-Gustav Nyquist.

Larkin, for being a brilliant offensive talent with 23 regular season goals, will need to better his game in the defensive zone as his promising career unfolds. In the second period, he made two poor plays that allowed Tampa Bay to maintain possession of the puck during the sequence. (Remember his turnover in Game 1 that created a Tampa Bay goal? In Game 2, his turnover inside the Tampa Bay blue line led to the Lightning’s fourth goal. )

Back to the game tonight. Drouin has three shots on net. After he left the ice, Tampa Bay’s line of Ryan Callahan (two shots)-Cedric Paquette-Vladislav Namestnikov jumped the boards next and continued to dominate the play.

Detroit defenseman Mike Green was leveled into the glass by Paquette to start a brief scrum in the Detroit zone. Paquette and Joakim Andersson get whistled for roughing. It’s 4-on-4 for two minutes.

There’s 14:50 left in the second period and Tampa Bay leads 1-0.

Detroit power play sputters, again

That’s nine straight failed Detroit power plays and 1-for-19 in the series. (Can the Wings decline a Lightning penalty, football-style?)

It's 1-0 Tampa Bay with 18:06 left in the second period.

When discussing the inept power play, Wings coach Jeff Blashill told Detroit News writer Gregg Krupa (@greggkrupa) that if you start looking for a magic pill, you are in trouble. Well, he should start looking for another solution, to say the least.

But go easy on Blashill. The Wings sorely lack a sniper.

Wings trail after 1st

It's 1-0 Tampa Bay after a first period in which the Lightning dominated for a majority of the action.

The Wings will begin the second period with a 1:14 man advantage, although it's not much reason for hope considering the power play unit is 1-for-18 in the series.

Lightning players said entering Game 4 that they needed to raise their level of competition, and they certainly did in the opening minutes, outshooting Detroit 10-3 to start tonight's game.

Nikita Kucherov scored his fourth goal of the series on a power play at the 5:41 mark to account for the first period scoring.

The Lightning have won 63 percent of the faceoffs, thus tilting the scale in the puck-possession game that belonged to the Wings two nights ago.

The Wings' Pavel Datsyuk is 1-for-7 on faceoffs. Could this be his last game at Joe Louis Arena? He has talked about heading back to Russia once the playoffs end.

Here is reason for hope: The second period has belonged to the Wings in this series.  They have scored five of their six goals in the second period.

Wings head to another power play 

Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson sends the puck out of play and gets whistled for a delay of game penalty.

The Wings head to another power play with 45.8 seconds left in the period, trailing 1-0.

Eight straight failures

That’s eight straight failed power plays for the Wings, who are now 1-for-18 in the series.

Niklas Kronwall’s shot in the slot did not get through a crowd of players, and was blocked by Brian Boyle, who became a villain in Game 3.

Wings go on power play

The Lightning's Cedric Paquette gets whistled for slashing Andreas Athanasiou.

The Wings will go on the power play.

There's 3:32 left in the first period. Tampa Bay leads 1-0.

Wings kill penalty

The Wings killed Tampa Bay's power play. There is 3:40 left in the first period and the Lightning lead 1-0.

Tampa Bay has won 67 percent of the faceoffs thus far.

Kronwall goes to box

Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall heads to the penalty box for hooking Ondrej Palat.

Tampa Bay is on the power play with 4:48 left in the period and leads 1-0.

Bolts dominating

The Lightning hold a 1-0 lead with 6:01 left in the first period.

Tampa Bay is outshooting Detroit 11-5.

The Wings' best chance came when Pavel Datsyuk broke in alone on Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop, but Datsyuk could not deliver a clean drop pass to Kyle Quincey.

Later, Wings rookie Andreas Athanasiou sent a pass across the bottom of the faceoff circle to streaking defenseman Brendan Smith, but his shot was turned aside by Bishop, who made a blocker save.

Kucherov scores, Bolts lead.

Well, that was quick.

Just nine seconds into the power play, Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov buries a low shot past Wings goalie Petr Mrazek for a 1-0 Tampa Bay lead.

Tyler Johnson sent a cross-ice pass through the slot to Kucherov, who scored his fourth goal of the series.

Johnson, Kucherov and linemate Alex Killorn scored seven of eight goals in the opening two games of the series. In Game 3, they were held without a shot.

Prior to the goal, Tampa Bay was 1-of-14 on the power play in the series.

Abdelkader continues to take costly penalties. In Game 2, he tripped Johnson to give the Lightning a 5-on-3 (Kucherov scored on the man-advantage), and happened to be on the ice for three Lightning goals and finished minus-3.

Tampa Bay goes on power play

The Wings' Justin Abdelkader gets whistled for holding Nikita Nesterov at the 5:32 mark. Tampa Bay will go on the power play.

The Wings have not registered a shot on goal through a chess-match-like game. It's 0-0.

Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop drew the ire of Wings fans when he pushed Joakim Andersson into the back of the net as he was tracking a play.

Puck drops in Game 4

The Wings and Lightning are under way in Game 4. It's 0-0 in the opening minute of the first period as the Wings try and even the best-of-seven series.

Perhaps the amount of young players in this series is the reason why the home team is unbeaten. Or maybe it’s because of the last line change that’s granted to the home bench. Or both.

But who would have expected the scrums and melees? It’s been the most entertaining NHL playoff series as far as penalty minutes is concerned. The teams have combined for 215 penalty minutes (Lightning 109; Detroit 106). The next closest series: Philadelphia (96) and Washington (47).

Lightning forward Tyler Johnson does not have a point in the four playoff games won by Detroit across the past two postseasons. He did not have a point in the three Wings’ victories in 2015, and he didn’t have a point in Sunday’s Game 3 at The Joe.

Wings center Luke Glendening won 63 percent of his faceoffs (10 of 16) in Game 3. In the defensive zone or neutral zone, he won 9 of 13 draws (69.2 percent) and was named No. 1 star.

Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey will replace Alexey Marchenko in the lineup. Marchenko absorbed a 12-stitch gash on his forehead in Game 3, courtesy of a glass-rattling hit delivered by Tampa Bay’s Vladislav Namestnikov.

How to watch: Wings-Lightning Game 4

The Red Wings can take another huge step forward Tuesday night in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Lightning. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.

The Wings trail 2-1 in the series but are coming off an impressive 2-0 triumph on Game 3 on Sunday night. A win Tuesday night would send the series back to Tampa on Thursday tied 2-2.

Alexey Marchenko has been a steady presence on the Detroit blue line in this series. “He has a real good ability to pass the puck under pressure,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He can handle forecheck pressure.”

A huge key in Sunday night’s win was that Detroit blanked Tampa’s prolific line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn with a combination of Luke Glendening, Justin Abdelkader and Riley Sheahan.

The Lightning vow to match the intensity they showed in sweeping the first two games in Tampa.

Abdelkader is another Wings player having a strong series, and he managed to keep his cool at the end of Game 3, and therefore keep his eligibility for Game 4.

Red Wings vs. Lightning

What: Game 4 of Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Joe Louis Arena.

Local TV: FSD, CBC

National TV: NBCSN (blacked out in Detroit market)

Internet streaming: TVAS2

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: SIRI 220