One hoodoo vexed, another one on deck.
Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings won 4-2 over the Boston Bruins, their first win at Boston's TD BankNorth Garden in 12 games, a skid that stretched back into 2014. The Wings caught a battered, injury-depleted Bruins team at the right time and took advantage of it.
Nixing the next hex won't come so easily.
The Tampa Bay Lightning arrive at Little Caesars Arena with 12 straight wins over the Wings and 16 victories in the last 17 games. And the Lightning are hot. Monday's 5-1 verdict over the New Jersey Devils was their second win on this three-game road trip and their sixth win the last seven games.
"We're a confident group," defenseman Victor Hedman told the Tampa Bay Times.
Saturday, Tampa Bay stormed back from a four-goal deficit to take a 5-4 overtime decision from the Florida Panthers.
"We have a belief in our group that even if we're down, we're not out of it," Lightning center Brayden Point said.
The previous game, Tampa Bay ended the 10-game win streak of the Buffalo Sabres, also by a 5-4 count.
Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov is riding a 10-game points streak, and has five three-point games over that span.
The Wings lost 2-0 Sunday to the Colorado Avalanche, and they also lost forward Tyler Bertuzzi. He was suspended two games by the NHL for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct for sucker-punching Avs forward Matt Calvert. Calvert was knocked into the Detroit bench and several Wings grabbed Calvert's stick and would not let go. Calvert tugged and jabbed with his stick to try and get it free and was pulled into the bench and held by Detroit's Dylan Larkin. As Larkin held Calvert, Bertuzzi took his right glove off and punched Calvert.
Bertuzzi has been among Detroit's more effective forwards this season. He has points in five of his last eight games and three goals in the last three games.
"He's an agitator," Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard told Detroit Red Wings.com. "He's out there and he's not afraid to give up his body. He's not afraid to throw it around. That can tick people off."
There's a chance that some of the Wings could see an old teammate make his NHL debut between the pipes for Tampa Bay. The Lightning recalled goalie Eddie Pasquale from AHL Syracuse. Louis Domingue, filling in for the injured Andrei Vasilevskiy, has started 11 games in a row and the thinking is that in the second back of back to backs, he might be given the night off.
In 2016-17, Pasquale played 29 games for Detroit's AHL farm club in Grand Rapids and among his teammates that season were current Detroit forwards Bertuzzi, Martin Frk, and Anthony Mantha and defensemen Nick Jensen and Dennis Cholowski.
"I'm at that point in my career where it's starting to wind down and I'm just looking for a chance," said Pasquale, 28, an eight-season pro.
The Lightning sent Pasquale, who'd sat on the bench and watched Domingue play for seven games in a row, back for a brief AHL stint to knock the rust off, but Tampa Ba coach Jon Cooper wouldn't commit to whether he was planning to go with Pasquale in Tuesday's game.
"We take things one game at a time here," Cooper said.