TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jakub Vrana had two goals, including the tiebreaking score in the third period, to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.
The Red Wings beat Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for the first time in 14 career games.
Lucas Raymond and Oskar Sundqvist also scored for Detroit, which improved to 1-1-2 against Tampa Bay this season. Thomas Greiss stopped 38 shots.
“This was a good game for us and I think we can take a lot of positives out of it,” Vrana said. “I think we played great and deserved to win. We just put ourselves in a good position to win the game.”
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos finished with three assists. He tied Hall of Famer Marty St. Louis for the franchise record for career points at 953.
Ross Colton scored twice and Nikita Kucherov added his 19th of the season for Tampa Bay. Vasilevskiy finished with 27 saves, falling to 13-1 all-time against the Red Wings. Vasilevskiy has not won a game since April 1, a span of six starts.
Tampa Bay’s lead over the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division is one point.
Vrana scored the eventual winning goal on a breakaway, stripping Mikhail Sergachev of the puck at the Detroit blue line and skating in alone on Vasilevskiy at 5:09 of the third period.
“He played as complete a hockey game as he’s played all year for us,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “I thought he was excellent in every facet of the game. He checked great, he worked hard, he won battles, he was good on the wall. And I think that’s a little personified by the breakaway goal. He does a good job defensively and then goes down and scores.’’
After the Lightning dominated the opening period, outshooting Detroit 15-5, the Red Wings turned things around early in the second with the first seven shots of the period. But it was Tampa Bay that had the opening goal as Stamkos took a touch pass from Ondrej Palat and raced up the slot before sending a pass over to Colton, who netted a one-timer at 3:58 for his 18th of the season.
The Red Wings scored three goals in the span of 3:57 to seize the lead.
Detroit answered the Colton goal 22 seconds later on a backhand rebound from Sundqvist that led to a quick barrage of goals. Vrana beat Vasilevskiy from the right circle six seconds after a power play expired at 6:34, and Raymond stole the puck from the feet of Sergachev and finished off a 2-on-1 with his 23rd of the season. He is tied for second-most among rookies.
“It’s the story that stood the test of time for not winning,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “They didn’t stick with the process is a perfect example of it. They had the puck the whole first period it didn’t go in for them, but there’s no reason to change anything that went on. And we did. We pressed and it’s shades of times when things didn’t go so well for us.’’
Kucherov cut the deficit to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 9:47 for his 599th career point.
Colton tied the game 43 seconds into the third period, one-timing a pass from Stamkos, who registered his third assist for the franchise record-tying point.
“(Stinks) to have something that’s special for me to happen in a game that we don’t win,’’ Stamkos said. “But definitely have Marty on my mind tonight. To have your name right up there with the great Marty St. Louis is pretty humbling … pretty, pretty surreal. It would be nice to tie that in a win, but it was kind of a cool moment.’’
Detroit captain Dylan Larkin will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing core muscle surgery on Monday. Larkin finishes the season with 31 goals, one short of his career high, and 69 points, four shy of a career best.
A LOT OF RUBBER
Lightning G Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his 10,000th career save with his fourth stop of the game. Vasilevskiy is the first goaltender in franchise history to hit the milestone and the 28th active goalie in the league to reach 10,000 career saves.
Red Wings: At Florida Panthers on Thursday.
Lightning: Host Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
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