Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

WINGS POST-GAME: Nielsen, Nyquist valiant efforts not enough in heart-breaker to the Lightning

The frustrations continue for the Red Wings against their rival Tampa Bay Lightning. We’ve seen this story before. Some sort of belief that the Wings can close out the game, only for the star-studded Lightning to storm back and break our hearts. Tampa won the latest edition of these two foes 6-5 in a nail bitter that had to be decided in a shootout.

The last time the Wings beat the Lightning was game 3 of the 2016 playoffs. Dylan Larkin was a rookie, Pavel Datsyuk was still in the NHL, and the Vegas Golden Knights didn’t exist. Its been that long.

Worth Mentioning

  • Eddie Pasquale made his first NHL start for the Lightning. Pasquale won a Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins back in 2017. He earned his first win in the big leagues tonight.
  • Frans Nielsen had a night to remember. He became the first Wing since Tomas Tatar in 2016 to record a hat-trick.
  • Gustav Nyquist also had a strong performance. In the absence of Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi he stepped up in a big way with two goals and a clutch shootout marker.

  • One of the more controversial moments happen late in the third period with the Wings up by a goal. What looked like a clear holding penalty on Tampa turned into an embellishment call on Andreas Athanasiou. A goal on the power-play, rather than killing off a penalty for two minutes, could have iced the game.

  • Detroit would however go on the man-advantage later on, and things did not go their way. Cedric Paquette scored short-handed to even the game at 5. It was a major momentum killer.
  • In overtime the game got even more stressful. The puck nearly slid over the goal-line, but instead tapped the goal post, and laid in the crease until Dylan Larkin took a game-saving penalty by preventing Tampa to score a tap-in for the winner.
  • Tampa went on to win in a shootout, continuing the Red Wings reoccurring nightmare.

Final Thoughts

This game was classic back and forth hockey. The Wings failure to maintain multiple two goal leads is hard to stomach though. A tough loss for a team that really needed two points.