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Detroit strikes back to make it a series against Tampa Bay Lightning

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Did you think it was going to be easy?

Did you think it was going to be a runaway?

The Detroit Red Wings answered back Sunday night, beating the Lightning 2-0 and reducing Tampa Bay’s lead in their playoff series to two games to one. Tampa Bay managed only 16 shots, only seven of them in the final two periods.

“They played really hard,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Their desperation level was higher than us. The more desperate team won.”

The Red Wings turned to goaltender Petr Mrasek, who shut out the Bolts. With 16 shots, however, Cooper said “I’m not even sure they needed a goaltender.”

Detroit scored twice in a five-minute span for its goals. Cooper protested the second of those, suggesting it was kicked in by Henrik  Zetterberg and that Bishop was interfered with. The goal stood, however. The Red Wings had seven power plays.

“We were killing the whole night,” Cooper said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance to win.”

Detroit did a good job defensively, especially on the Lightning’s Tyler Johnson line. Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn had scored 15 points in the first two nights, but they were held without a goal Sunday night.

“They competed harder than we did, ” Johnson said. “We’re going to have to be way better than that.”

The teams play again in Detroit on Tuesday night.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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