Wings blow lead in 6-5 SO loss to Lightning despite Nielsen hat trick
Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov celebrates after scoring the winning goal in a shootout Tuesday night.
Offense was not the problem for the Red Wings on Tuesday night, even though they played without a suspended Tyler Bertuzzi and an injured Anthony Mantha.
Holding the lead was.
Detroit blew a two-goal third-period lead and dropped a 6-5 shootout decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Little Caesars Arena.
It was the 13th consecutive time Tampa has defeated the Wings in the regular season. Detroit last beat the Lightning on Nov. 3, 2015.
“This is tough loss, because we got that early goal in the third, and you have to be able to protect a 5-3 lead at home in the third period,” said Frans Nielsen, whose second career hat trick was wasted. “They were really coming at us, but we didn't do what we needed to do to win this game.”
Mantha is lost for four-to-six weeks after breaking his hand in a fight with Colorado’s Patrik Nemeth on Sunay. The Wings also lost another player, defenseman Danny DeKeyser, who left Tuesday night’s game after taking a shot on his arm or wrist late in the second period.
“We'll know more tomorrow, but we're expecting him to be out multiple weeks,” coach Jeff Blashill said.
Gustav Nyquist had two goals and scored in the shootout. Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou had two assists each and Jimmy Howard made 30 saves.
“When you score five goals, you have to win the game, especially when you are up two in the third,” Nyquist said. “Even at the end, we have a power play and a 5-4 lead, and we let them score the shorthanded goal to tie it.”
Nielsen and Thomas Vanek were stopped in the shootout by goalie Edward Pasquale, who also made 19 saves in regulation and overtime for the win in his NHL debut.
Defenseman Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov scored in the shootout for Tampa Bay, which got goals from J.T. Miller (9:50 into the third) and Craig Paquette (shorthanded with 5:02 left in regulation) to tie the game 5-5.
“They were pushing hard, so once we got the two-goal lead it wasn’t like we were in command. They were pushing hard,” Blashill said. “You give up kind of a D-zone goal and a shortie, and you get a chance with six minutes to put it away, and instead they score a shorthanded goal, so then it’s a ball game.”
Mathieu Joseph had two goals and an assist, and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning.
… Mantha underwent surgery on his hand Tuesday afternoon.
… Bertuzzi will also sit out Thursday’s game at Toronto to complete his suspension.
… The NHL Board of Governors approved an expansion team in Seattle that will begin play for the start of 1921-22 season. The move will give the NHL 32 franchises. Seattle has never had an NHL team, but the Seattle Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915-24, won the Stanley Cup in 1917.