Apr 18, 2015 6:05 PM
Lightning rebound to even series against Red Wings
The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop stopped 24 shots for his first NHL playoff victory Saturday, a 5-1 win over Detroit that evened their opening-round Eastern Conference series at one game apiece.
Tyler Johnson had two goals for the Lightning, who dropped Game 1 while outplaying the Red Wings for most of a 3-2 loss. Alex Killorn and Andrej Sustr scored in second period before Johnson's breakaway goal finished a three-goal flurry that put Tampa Bay up 4-0.
Bishop lost his bid for a shutout when Detroit's Tomas Tatar scored at 5:49 of the third period. The 6-foot-7 goaltender won a career-best 40 games during the regular season and is one of the reasons the Lightning feel good about their chances of making a deep run in the playoffs.
Despite the loss, the Red Wings return home for Game 3 on Tuesday night feeling fortunate the series is tied. They did not play particularly well in either of the two games at Amalie Arena, but escaped with the opener thanks to an outstanding playoff debut by young goalie Petr Mrazek.
The 23-year-old Mrazek was pulled Saturday after Tampa Bay's three-goal second period, replaced by the struggling, but much more experienced Jimmy Howard, who gave up Tampa Bay's final goal to Valtteri Filppula on a power play in the closing minutes.
Johnson scored on the power play just over three minutes into the game, giving Tampa Bay its first lead of the series. He beat Mrazek again in the second period, less than five minutes after Sustr's first career playoff goal made it 3-0.
The Lightning, who haven't won a playoff series since 2011, ended a six-game postseason losing streak after dominating the series opener outshooting the Red Wings 46-14 but also going 0 for 7 on the power play and yielding a short-handed goal that proved to be the difference in a 3-2 loss.
Detroit was outshot 30-24 this time, but still didn't put much pressure on the Lightning defense.
Mrazek was superb in his NHL playoff debut with 44 saves, but couldn't replicate that success again, stopping just 14 of 18 shots in the first two periods.
Notes: The Lightning went 32-8-1 at home during the regular season. ... Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos had two assists. ... Howard had 11 saves in the final period for Detroit. ... The Red Wings were 0 for 4 on the power play after scoring two goals on special team in the opener.