Lightning Respond To Cooper’s Challenge, Defeat Red Wings

Domingue Fantastic In Lightning Debut

Tampa Bay Lightning
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

After a disappointing effort against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper questioned his team’s commitment. He felt the team might have a feeling of entitlement. Maybe some thought the team had already made the post-season. He challenged the leaders of the team to circle the wagons.

The Lightning responded delivering a hard fought effort in defeating the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Their effort was constant from the opening puck drop to the final horn. Detroit was willing to check hard and mix it up. The Lightning had to overcome adversity on the back half of a back-to-back. They had to kill four power-plays including a pair of 5×3’s. They had no power-play’s of their own.

“I challenged these guys and they continue to answer the bell.” Coach Cooper said. “This was an easy one to mail in. Five game road trip, how many days have we been on the road? Back-to-back,through customs- to have the game that we did -especially the way the game went. We didn’t have a power play tonight. Had to kill off two 5-on-3’s. Pretty gutty effort from the guys.”

Yanni Gourde scored a pair of goals, Dan Girardi, Tyler Johnson, and Nikita Kucherov each scored and Louis Domingue was outstanding in his Tampa Bay Lightning debut stopping 34 shots as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-2.

Tampa Bay finishes their five game road trip 3-1-1 and improve their record 30-9-3. They also extend their regular win streak over the Red Wings to 10 straight.

Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader scored for the Red Wings who fall to 17-17-7 on the season.

Girardi’s Scary Moment:

Dan Girardi, off to a good start with a goal and an assist, was forced to leave the game after taking Martin Frk one-timer from the left circle with 6:31 to go in the second period.  He did not return but the report from the locker room during the game was that he was doing well. “Much better than how that looked.” Cooper said. “I’ve been coaching all levels for a long time, and that was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen in hockey.”

Lightning Notes:

  • Dan Girardi scored his scored his third goal of the season to open the scoring. He picked up an assist on Tyler Johnson‘s goal. It was his third multi-point game of the season and first since December 7th against the Colorado Avalanche.
  • Tyler Johnson gave the Lightning a 2-0 scoring his scored his 13th goal of the season. He has recorded at least one point in 16 of his last 19 games (9-13–22). He has points in eight of his last nine regular season games versus Detroit (4-6–10).
  • Yanni Gourde scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season. He also picked up an assist on Girardi’s goal.  He matched a career high with 3-points (also December 16 at Colorado) and marked his seventh multi-point game of the season. Gourde also was involved in a fight giving him the Gordie Howe hat-trick. He’s the second Lightning player this year (also Brayden Point versus Arizona) to accomplish the feat.
  • Vladislav Namestnikov picked up an assist on Girardi’s goal and another on Gourde’s. He now has 35-points (15-20–35) in just 42 games. It matches his career high (14-21–35) set in 2015-16 (80 games). It was his sixth multi-point game of the season.
  • Nikita Kucherov scored his 27th goal of the season.   He has registered a point in 13 of his last 14 games (8-11–19).
  • Steven Stamkos picked up an assist on Kucherov’s goal giving him 34-assists on the season.
  • The Lightning had no power-play opportunities. It’s the first game they’ve failed to be on a power-play since January 15, 2016 against the Calgary Flames.
  • Up next for Lightning. They return home to take on the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.


I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.