| The Detroit News
There was no question the Red Wings were much better Friday in Tampa.
Much more competitive, respectable and the way the Wings want to play on a nightly basis.
But, they still lost. This time, 3-1 to the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning.
Tampa forward Barclay Goodrow broke a 1-1 tie with a long shot from the top of the slot that beat goaltender Thomas Greiss through the legs at 17 minutes, 29 seconds of the second period.
Goodrow had just come off the bench and got a pass from defenseman Jan Rutta. Greiss had committed a split second too much to the opposite side, looking for the puck, and couldn’t square himself to stop Goodrow’s shot.
Goodrow then capped the scoring with his second goal of the game with an empty-net goal with 27 seconds remaining.
The Wings (2-8-2) saw their winless streak reach eight games (0-6-2), while they continue a rugged six-game trip with games Sunday and Tuesday in Florida.
Vladislav Namestnikov scored the Wings’ goal.
The Wings were outshot 32-28 by Tampa, with Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopping 27 shots and frustrating the Wings yet again.
Vasilevskiy made a key stop midway in the third period, stopping Dylan Larkin’s one-timer from the dot, maintaining Tampa’s 2-1 lead.
Tampa’s victory was its 16th consecutive victory over the Red Wings at Amalie Arena, and 18th win in the last 19 games against the Wings overall (the Wings’ victory was a shootout).
The Wings received a spark from forward Filip Zadina, who returned to the lineup after having been on the COVID-19 protocol list.
Zadina assisted on Namestnikov’s goal, snapping a shot from the dot – as a Wings’ power play was expiring — which rolled up the arm of Tampa defenseman Luke Schenn and off Namestnikov, before getting past Vasilevskiy.
It was Namestnikov’s second goal this season.
But Tampa tied the game late in the first period, dimming the Wings’ momentum.
Wings forward Adam Erne sent an errant pass into the middle of the ice, the puck landing on the stick of Tampa forward Pat Maroon.
With Greiss screened, Maroon lifted a shot near the top of the circle that may have nicked a stick and went just wide of Greiss into the net, Maroon’s first goal.
Greiss, who was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots in Wednesday’s loss, was a major reason the Wings stayed even through Friday’s first period.
Greiss didn’t get much help defensively Thursday, but he did in this game, but Greiss also made several impressive early stops (29 saves).
The best sequence Greiss had was making a sprawling pad save on Anthony Cirelli, then getting back in position and stopping Cirelli who retrieved a loose puck near the post.
Heading into Friday’s game, coach Jeff Blashill was confident Greiss (0-7-2), who has yet to win his first game with the Wings, would rebound.
“He’s been through the rigors of the NHL. He’s an even-keeled person. He knows games like (Wednesday) night will happen and he’ll move on,” Blashill said. “
“He started out playing real good (this season) and he just didn’t get much offensive support. He should have wins on the board. He’s certainly played well enough, good enough, to have wins.
“He said to our goalie coach (Jeff Salajko) he’s been in those games before and he’ll be in them again. That’s just the reality of playing goal and he has as good demeanor about him.”