Without Kucherov, Resilient Lightning Continue Their Playoff Push

Five Different Scorers Lead Lightning Past Detroit

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s banged up forwards suffered another blow prior to Thursday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings as Nikita Kucherov was scratched with the flu.

The Bolts needed to get offense from others and got just that as five different Bolts scored.  J.T. Brown, Andrej Sustr, Alex Killorn, Jonathan Drouin, and Yanni Gourde each scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31-saves en route to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

The win gives the Lightning (38-29-9) their first ever season sweep (5-0-0) over the Red Wings (31-34-12). It is their seventh straight regular season win over Detroit and their ninth straight regular season win over the Wings at Amalie Arena.

It was the Bolts fourth straight win in a row, all come from behind wins, and they improve to 16-5-3 since February 4th.

Frans Nielsen, Danny DeKeyser, and Mike Green scored for the Red Wings who were playing their fourth game in five nights.

Lightning Playoff Odds:

The win keeps the Lightning three points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild card in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference. The Bolts have a game in hand on the Bruins. It also keeps them one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes who defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets to extend their point streak to 13 straight games (9-0-4).

They also remain four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division.

According the the web-site sportsclubstats.com the Lightning entered Monday night’s action with a 24.6-percent chance of making the playoffs. With the Lightning’s win over the Red Wings and other action in the NHL Thursday night, the Bolts will improve by 0.7-percent to 31.3-percent .

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 win over the the Detroit Red Wings (+6.0-percent)
  • Boston Bruins 2-0 victory over the Dallas Stars (-2.9-percent)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators (-2.8-percent)
  • Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders (+1.5-percent)
  • Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 overtime victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets (-1.1-percent)

Entering tonight’s game against the Red Wings, thehockeynews.com gave the Lightning a 28-percent chance at the postseason.

Upcoming Games Of Note:

The Lightning will host the Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars in their final home back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday.

The Boston Bruins will host Florida Panthers on Saturday and the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

The New York Islanders host the New Jersey Devils on Friday night before travelling to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Sunday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings on Saturday night.

The Carolina Hurricanes host the Dallas Stars on Saturday night and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

Hedman’s Milestone:

Tampa Bay Lightning
AP Photo: Chris O’Meara

Victor Hedman tallied an assist on Jonathan Drouin’s power-play goal. It was his 66th point (15-goals/51-assists) on the season. The 66-points moves him ahead of Roman Hamrlik who had 65-points (1995-1996) as the Bolts franchise record for points by a defenseman in a single season.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’m so proud and honored to be part of this great organization. To have that record means a lot to me obviously.” Hedman said. “I’m very fortunate to part of this organization for a long time and I just have to keep trying to become a better player. Keep growing and bring a championship to this town.”

Lightning Notes:

Tampa Bay Lightning, Andrej Sustr
AP Photo: Chris O’Meara
  • J.T. Brown scored the Lightning’s first goal. It was his third goal of the season and first in 46 games.
  • Andrej Sustr scored the Bolts second goal. It was his second goal of the season and his first goal in his last nine games. He added an assist on Yanni Gourde’s goal giving him his first multi-point game in 70 games.
  • Alex Killorn and Jonathan Drouin each scored power-play goals in the second period. It marks the 16th game this season the Bolts have scored two or more power-play goals in a game. The Bolts also lead the NHL in power-play goals with 60.
  • Drouin has eight points (4-goals/4-assists) spanning his last six games.
  • Victor Hedman picked up an assist on Drouin’s power-play goal giving him the NHL lead for power-play assists with 28.
  • Ondrej Palat picked up a pair of assists extending his season long points streak to six games (2-goals/8-assists).
  • Yanni Gourde scored his third goal of the season and second in as many nights.



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.