Detroit at Tampa Bay
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, October 18, 2018
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Tyler Johnson is back centering a trio that was dominant in previous seasons and looks to follow up his fourth career regular-season hat trick with another big effort when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the winless Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Johnson was moved from wing to center “the Triplets” line with Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat two games ago and Tampa Bay has scored 12 times since.
The line was a key element as the Lightning made the Stanley Cup finals in 2014-15 and reached the Eastern Conference final in 2015-16, but were split up for much of last season as Kucherov put up 100 points in 2017-18 while playing primarily with captain Steven Stamkos. “When (Johnson is) really skating, it’s game-changing, and he was definitely skating (Tuesday),” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper told reporters after a 4-2 victory over Carolina. “Bursting through holes and creating chances for himself. I know he had three. He probably could have had more with all the chances he created.” Detroit, which has dropped 11 straight regular-season games to the Lightning, gave up 20 goals combined while losing the last three after earning a point in the 3-2 shootout loss at Anaheim on Oct. 8. “We have to show some pride in here. Enough is enough,” Red Wings veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall told the Detroit Free Press. “Bottom line is we just have to go to work - we don’t even give ourselves a chance right how. We hang our goalies out to dry. There’s only one way to do it and that starts with hard work.”TV:
7:30 p.m ET, FS Detroit, FS Sun (Tampa Bay)ABOUT THE RED WINGS (0-4-2):
Defenseman Danny DeKeyser (hand) sat out Monday’s 7-3 loss at Montreal and is expected to miss up to two weeks, but fellow defenseman Trevor Daley (upper body) could return to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 7. Center Dylan Larkin leads the team with three goals and shares the top spot in points with Tyler Bertuzzi (two goals) and Gustav Nyquist (five assists) at five. Both goalies have not been able to stem the tide as Jimmy Howard owns a 3.99 goals-against average in four games and Jonathan Bernier is at 5.07 in three appearances.ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (3-1-0):
Stamkos posted one assist with eight shots in the first four contests and his goal-scoring drought in the regular season has reached 16 games, dating back to a five-point night (two goals) against Philadelphia on March 3. Stamkos’ linemates - Brayden Points (three goals) and Yanni Gourde (two) - are tied with forward J.T. Miller for second on the team in points with four, trailing only Johnson (five). Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (.950 save percentage) is expected back in net after being rested Tuesday and is 6-0-0 lifetime versus Detroit.OVERTIME
1. Detroit F Thomas Vanek scored his first goal and point of the season Monday and is four assists from 400 in his career.
2. The Lightning, who were 28th in the league in penalty killing last season, are 18-for-18 in the first four games.
3. The Red Wings last won in Tampa Bay on April 25, 2015 in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series.PREDICTION:
Lightning 5, Red Wings 2
Stats and Records