Lightning continue their dominance over Red Wings in 5-1 victory; winless skid hits 7

Detroit News

Ted Kulfan
| The Detroit News

It only seems like the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Red Wings all the time.

Then again, in Tampa, yes the Lightning have been beating the Wings for a long, long time.

Wednesday was the latest, as the Stanley Cup champions soundly defeated the Wings 5-1.

It was, staggeringly, the 15th consecutive time the Lightning have defeated the Wings in Tampa. Only Philadelphia’s 16-game active home win streak against Chicago is longer in the NHL.

The last time the Wings won in Tampa? Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals Feb. 17, 2011 in a 6-2 Detroit victory.

It’s been that long.

The only positive in this start of a two-game series in Tampa for the Wings was Anthony Mantha scoring his fourth goal, third in three games,

The Wings (2-7-2), now winless in their last seven games, fell behind early and never recovered.

BOX SCORE: Lightning 5, Red Wings 1

Tampa scored three goals in a span of 3 minutes, 20 seconds early in the first period, taking total control of the game.

Victor Hedman (third goal, 1:34) scored thanks to a bad Wings’ line change, Anthony Cirelli (second goal, 3:57) scored with the teams skating four-on-four, and Ryan McDonagh (first, 4:54) capped the blazing start with a blast from the dot after a Wings’ turnover.

Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss allowed three goals on six shots and was replaced after McDonagh’s goal — but Greiss had no defensive support in front of him.

Calvin Pickard replaced Greiss and made 16 saves.

Tampa outshot the Wings 24-17, and the Wings again struggled on the power play, not scoring on four opportunities. The Wings did a nice job on the penalty kill, stopping Tampa on its four power plays.

The Wings welcomed back forwards Robby Fabbri, Adam Erne and Sam Gagner, and defenseman Jon Merrill, from the COVID-19 protocol list.

Merill replaced Danny DeKeyser (rest) in the lineup, while Michael Rasmussen (assigned to Grand Rapids), Givani Smith and Mathias Brome (assigned to taxi squad) were the forwards who were bumped out.

The changes didn’t matter, ultimately.

And, really, it’s just not in Tampa that the Lightning dominate the Wings.

Be it in Tampa or Detroit, the Lightning have defeated the Wings 17 of the last 18 games. The Wings won 5-4 in a shootout last season, March 8, 2020, just days before the pandemic ended the regular season.

Twitter: @tkulfan

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