Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was a staunch reminder of how far the Detroit Red Wings have fallen in the last 2-3 years. Or maybe it’s a reminder of how much the Tampa Bay Lightning have improved over the last few years. It was only two season ago these two teams were facing off in the playoffs. Of course, as we all know now, the Red Wings never made it to the second round, but they did take Tampa to seven games in 2015.

In Thursday’s game, it became obvious just how far in the opposite direction these two teams have trended. Detroit lost 4-1 in their fourth and final game against the Lightning this season. They went 0-4-0 against the Atlantic Division leaders in 2017-18.


Tampa didn’t waste a lot of time getting on the scoreboard as Stamkos buried a one-timer less than five minutes into the start of the game.

Despite out-shooting the Lightning in the first period, Detroit couldn’t put anything past Vezina-candidate Andrei Vasilevskiy. In fact, Tampa added to their tally before the period ended as Nikita Kucherov and Vladimir Namestikov made the Red Wings defense look silly.

The second period was worse for Detroit, but they managed to hold the Lightning off for most of it. Stamkos scored his second goal of the night late in the period on a beautiful tic-tac-toe powerplay finish.

Tomas Tatar managed to score a goal shortly after on Detroit’s own powerplay to end the second period only trailing 3-1.

The third period was all Tampa Bay as they out-shot and out-attempted the Wings. The game felt like it was over pretty quickly as Alex Killorn added the final goal less than two minutes into the third period. It was a very fluid play that Detroit fell behind on. It wasn’t Jimmy Howard’s fault. The Wings forwards and defense allowed the Bolts to take control and they ended up paying for it.

It was a bad mistake that dug Detroit into a hole that was too big for them to get out of. They lost the game 4-1.


The Wings were in it for most of the game, but another terrible third period cost them this one. At this point, it’s not fair to expect them to beat the Lightning. This is going to get worse after the trade deadline.


Tonight’s Motor City MVP is Tomas Tatar for scoring Detroit’s only goal.


Detroit will travel to Nashville for a game on Saturday evening in the country music capital of the U.S. Puck drop is 8:00 P.M. ET and you can watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit or Fox Sports Tennessee if you’re tuning in from the Nashville area. As always, we’ll have a pre-game report up on WingsNation.com early Saturday afternoon.