Detroit Red Wings (26-31-7) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (39-18-6)
When: 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
TV: Bally Sports Detroit.
Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1) (Red Wings radio affiliates).
THURSDAY’S GAME: Wings blitzed early by New York Islanders in 5-2 loss
HAPPY ‘FIGHT NIGHT’ DAY!: Wings’ ‘Fight Night’ vs. Avalanche remains an ‘incredible night’
Game notes: Is this it? Is this the year that The Dynasty That Stevie Y Built finally crumbles, or at least takes a step back? The Lightning are coming off back-to-back Stanley Cups, and, as recently as March 6, looked like a solid bet for a third. But since then, they’ve lost six of eight games. (And the two wins are against the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks. Meh.)
The latest loss came Thursday to the Boston Bruins and dropped the Bolts into a wild-card spot in the playoff seedings. So what’s gone wrong? Tampa Bay’s offense has gone missing, with just 17 goals during that eight-game stretch — a 2.13 average that really isn’t enough to win in today’s NHL.
Of course, the Wings aren’t exactly surging themselves, with only three wins in 11 March games. At least offense hasn’t been the problem, with four games with at least four goals during that stretch. Still, that may not last if the Lightning start Andrei Vasilevskiy in net; the 27-year-old is 13-0-0 in his career against the Wings, with a 2.09 GAA and .926 save percentage.
The Wings won’t have much time to rest after Saturday’s game, with a 5 p.m. start in Pittsburgh set for Sunday. The Lightning, somehow, will have even less downtime, with a 2 p.m. Sunday start on the road against the New York Islanders.
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