Detroit, Mich. (CBS) The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered yet another tough loss on the road Wednesday night, falling to the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 in front of a packed house at Joe Louis Arena.
Down 2-0 heading into the second period, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos (16) tied the game with two beautiful goals in the second period. But when it came down to closing out the game, Tampa Bay again failed to do so against a very poised Detroit hockey team.
With the Lightning down by two goals in the third, Matt Gilroy had only the goalie to beat but was denied by the glove of Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard.
Howard made some big saves down the stretch, while Dwayne Roloson let in two crushing goals in the final period to hand Detroit their seventh consecutive win at home.
While the Red Wings stand in first place in the Central Division backed by a Stanley Cup-caliber squad, Tampa Bay has lost six of nine and continue to make costly mistakes.
They seem to always dig themselves into a deep hole in the first period, and instead of playing with a lead they are continually forced to play from behind.
Their defense gave away two goals, one coming from a turnover by Victor Hedman, and the other from Steve Downie and St. Louis getting caught out of their defensive zone.
Detroit also out shot the Lightning 35-23, giving Roloson no breathing room whatsoever. Historically, the bolts haven’t fared well at all against the Red Wings. With last night’s win, Detroit improved to 13-1-1 all-time against the Tampa Bay.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If Guy Boucher can’t rally his troops and tough it out on the road, then the playoffs will be a long shot.