Lightning outlast Red Wings in shootout

Greg Auman, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

TAMPA, Fla. -- Right winger Martin St. Louis scored in the sixth round of shootout and goaltender Ben Bishop stopped left winger Johan Franzen as the Tampa Bay Lightning outlasted the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in a shootout on Thursday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The two goalies stopped the first 10 shots in the shootout, but St. Louis beat Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson to the left and then Bishop stopped Franzen to allow the Lightning's home dominance to trump Detroit's road success this season.
"It was a pretty even game tonight -- you need your goalie to come up big for you, and he really did tonight," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, whose team has back-to-back wins against Detroit for the first time in its history. "Couple big saves in the third and obviously big-time in the shootout."
The shootout goal came after a 65-minute stalemate between two of the league's top 10 goalies in goals-against-average -- Gustavsson came in sixth at 2.03 and Bishop was ninth at 2.11. Bishop, who beat Detroit in overtime on the road Nov. 9, said a good scouting report and anticipation helped him make the final save of the night.
"I know he likes to shoot high glove. I know he has a good shot, a quick release," said Bishop, who earned his 16th win of the season. "I was kind of anticipating the high-glove shot, and sure enough, he did. ... You just try to stay big, patient and get lucky every now and then."
Detroit took the lead with 4:56 left in the first period as defenseman Kyle Quincey scored his first goal of the season. Quincey's initial shot bounced off the shoulder of Bishop, but he was able to flick the rebound from the side off the back of Bishop's left leg and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
The Lightning missed on odd-man rushes, including a clear breakaway by St. Louis, whose shot missed wide early in the second. Detroit's lead held up until the final minute of the second period when Lightning rookie right winger Nikita Kucherov got a loose puck in the high slot, spun around and wristed in a shot for a 1-1 tie.
Both teams survived power plays in the final seven minutes, with Tampa Bay getting its chance with 6:39 remaining and then Detroit having the man-advantage with 3:28 left but also unable to take advantage.
Tampa Bay had another power-play opportunity with 43 seconds left in regulation but couldn't score, sending the game to overtime. After five scoreless minutes, the stalemate went to the shootout. Detroit is now 0-6 this season in shootouts, having lost 11 in a row overall, while the Lightning improved to 4-1 in shootouts. St. Louis missed on the third shot of a shootout earlier this week, but came through in the sixth frame, having just missed a short-handed goal on a breakaway in regulation.
The two teams entered the game separated by just one point in the Eastern Conference standings, but the location played to both teams' strengths. Detroit came to town with a 10-3-2 road record as one of the NHL's top road teams, and the Lightning were 11-3-1 at home, also among the league's best.
NOTES: The Lightning played without two key players, including D Victor Hedman. He remains out with a lower-body injury that has sidelined him for the past week. ... Tampa Bay also will be without without rookie RW Richard Panik for two games. He was suspended by the NHL for a violent hit during Tuesday night's game against the Washington Capitals that resulted in a five-minute penalty. ... With G Jimmy Howard sidelined by a knee injury, Detroit called up G Petr Mrazek from the AHL. ... Tampa Bay has a busy road trip ahead with three games in four days. The Lightning play on Saturday at New Jersey, turn around quickly for a game at Detroit on Sunday and then play on Tuesday at the New York Islanders before returning home for their next two. Detroit opens a four-game, six-day homestand Saturday against Pittsburgh... Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will play in a Red Wings-Maple Leafs alumni showdown at Comerica Park in Detroit on Dec. 31 as part of the NHL Winter Classic weekend.

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