Red Wings look to end run of futility vs. Lightning

NHL
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The Detroit Red Wings pulled off a surprise against old rival Detroit on Friday. They’ll try to end a long streak of futility against Eastern Conference opponent Tampa Bay on Sunday.

The Wings snapped a six-game winless streak by edging another Original Six team, Chicago, 2-1 in Detroit.

Goalie Jonathan Bernier was the star, turning aside 32 shots. The Wings, who had dropped 10 of their previous 11 outings, snapped the Blackhawks’ four-game winning streak.

Detroit continues a four-game homestand against Tampa Bay. The Lightning have won 16 consecutive regular-season games against the Red Wings, the longest winning streak in franchise history against any opponent and the third-longest in league history. Detroit’s most recent win over Tampa Bay came in November 2015.

In fact, the Wings have three chances before the end of the season to repay the Lightning. This will be the second of four meetings. In the first one on Dec. 29 at Tampa, Bernier made 37 saves, but the Wings’ offense failed him in a 2-1 defeat.

All of Detroit’s goals in Friday’s win came in the second period.

“We weren’t very good in the third,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “It looked like a team that hasn’t won much, kind of self-combusted at times. But (Bernier) stayed strong. Again, I thought for 40 minutes we were good. We looked like a hockey team. We had the puck a lot. We did a lot of the things we want to do to be a better team.”

Tyler Bertuzzi ended a scoring drought with his first goal in 14 games. He scored off a feed from center Dylan Larkin, who reached the 50-point mark this season.

“As long as we’re winning, that’s not something I think about at all,” Bertuzzi told NHL.com. “Obviously, you want to help score, you want to contribute to wins. It felt good to get a goal tonight. It was bigger to get a win.”

Robby Fabbri scored Detroit’s other goal on a power play.

“Fabbs has been a big spark for us. He’s a water bug out there,” Larkin said to NHL.com. “He works hard, and he plays physical. He does it all, really.”

The Lightning have won three of their last four and collected a quality road victory against Boston on Saturday night.

Their special teams led the way. Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev scored short-handed goals 1:02 apart in the first period.

The Lightning led 3-0, then held off the Bruins’ late charge and clinched the game with an empty-net goal.

The game got very chippy, as the Lightning and Bruins combined for 26 penalties and 94 penalty minutes.

“It was two darn good hockey teams that wanted to win a game,” coach Jon Cooper said. “Guys stuck up for each other. Everybody gets a little tall on the bench. It’s one of those games that you don’t see it as much anymore, but intimidation is still a factor. You look the tiger in the eye and don’t back down, and everybody grows on the bench.”

–Field Level Media

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