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Wings-Lightning shenanigans: the rematch

This time around, the Tampa Bay Lightning attempted to start a brawl at the end of the Red Wings' 2-0 win, jumping Henrik Zetterberg, and when Brian Boyle and Justin Abdelkader faced off...Abdelkader didn't want to wreck a right hand already banged-up before the series started, so he got a "chicken dance" salute from an unsatisfied Boyle instead:

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Red Wings-Lightning Game 3 quick take: job well done

The Detroit Red Wings started Petr Mrazek, dressed Brendan Smith and shook up their lines in an attempt to climb back into their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday evening.

Going down 3-0 would place the Wings' backs against an incredibly steep wall to climb, just as "earning" a 2-1 deficit would change the dynamic of the series.

On Sunday night, the Red Wings shut down the Lightning on the scoreboard, defeating them 2-0, and while the Wings' power play remains terrible--going 0-for-7--Andreas Athanasiou and Henrik Zetterberg scored huge goals, Petr Mrazek had to stop only 16 Tampa Bay shots, and the Red Wings answered every Bolts physical challenge with discipline as well as challenges of their own, ensuring that the Lightning ended the game trying to jump Zetterberg.

It was an excellent game and the Red Wings delivered a strong product while getting back into the series, which they now trail 2-1.

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Zetterberg’s goal counts…Twice!

Henrik Zetterberg's goal was reviewed twice, once for a kick-in and once on a coach's challenge, but it stood:

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Hey Hey Double A

Here's Andreas Athanasiou's first playoff goal:

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‘The Gold Standard of building a winning team’

Sportsnet posted a 3-and-a-half minute intro prior to tonight's game, calling the Red Wings the "Gold standard of building a winning team":

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Griffins hope to get on a good streak come playoff time

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson regarding his team ahead of next weekend's playoff match-up with the Milwaukee Admirals:

Coach Todd Nelson didn't even try to sugarcoat the image of the Grand Rapids Griffins heading into the Calder Cup Playoffs.

"Let's call a spade a shovel - we're a very streaky hockey team. If I said anything different I'd be lying to you," he said.

The roller coaster season is trending downward headed into the postseason. Saturday's 3-2 loss to Bakersfield was the Griffins' fifth in a row.

Not the kind of momentum they want as they open the playoffs Friday against Central Division champion Milwaukee, which had a 13-game point streak snapped in its finale on Saturday.

"We've gone through a lot of ups and downs this year," Nelson said. "The thing is, I feel comfortable going into the playoffs based on how we played (Saturday) and before that I didn't. But I thought our effort was good last night and we executed well, we just couldn't score."

Wallner continues...

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Evening news: Game-day previews; on Smith and Mrazek, line changes and stats of note

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Joe Louis Arena is ready for the big game...

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Red Wings-Lightning Game 3 notes: What 2 Watch For’ and ‘5 Keys’

Among ESPN's Craig Custance's "What 2 Watch For" list regarding Game 3 of the Red Wings-Lightning series...

  • The Red Wings are also plugging in defenseman Brendan Smith, although whom he's replacing on defense will be a game-time decision. Smith gives the Red Wings more mobility on the back end and will help the breakout, which has struggled at times against a fast, skilled Lightning team. He objected when it was suggested that he’s being plugged in just to produce offense, since his game is more than that. Where he’ll have an impact is getting the puck quickly out of the defensive zone and jumping into the play on offense. The key will be finding that balance while managing turnovers, since turnovers hurt Detroit earlier in this series.
  • Tyler Johnson remains the focus of the Lightning offensive attack, with six points in two games continuing his mastery against Detroit in the playoffs. Finding a way to slow him down will be the key to the Red Wings getting back in the series. Blashill appeared to be constructing a shutdown line of Luke Glendening, Riley Sheahan and Justin Abdelkader, but warned not to read into the morning skate lines too much. More importantly that defending Johnson will be forcing him to play defense on the other end of the ice, a point not lost on Blashill.

    “The more you make them defend, the better you’ll be,” Blashill said. “However many goals they have, they may have one more chance than that. They’ve been very good at scoring on their chances.”

Custance continues...

And among NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika's "Five keys"...


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Red Wings-Lightning Game 3 game-day articles: Mrazek starts, Smith is in for Wings

Updated 7x at 2:42 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will start Petr Mrazek in front of a shuffled defense (Smith in for Quincey) and different lines--we think (Wings coach Jeff Blashill told the media that he may or may not use the lines he employed during the morning skate)--as they face the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the teams' first-round series tonight (7 PM EDT on FSD/FS Florida/CNBC/CBC/TVA Sports/97.1 FM).

Per MLive's Ansar Khan, the morning skate lines looked like this:

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Red Wings-Lightning morning skate Tweets: Mrazek starts, Smith in, Eurotwins separated

Updated 3x at 11:56 AM: Mrazek in, Quincey out, lines shuffled: The Detroit Red Wings face a must-win situation against the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening (7 PM EDT on FSD/FS Florida/CNBC/CBC/TVA Sports/97.1 FM). The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before 10:30 AM, per the Free Press's George Sipple...

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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