Lightning-Red Wings Preview - NBC Sports

Lightning-Red Wings Preview
April 20, 2015, 2:55 pm

The Tampa Bay Lightning dominated every element of play except the scoreboard in their opener against the Detroit Red Wings, but managed to fix that in Game 2.

With the series tied and momentum firmly in Tampa Bay's favor, the Lightning head to Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday night looking to replicate that success on the road - something they were unable to do during the regular season.

Tampa Bay fell to Detroit 3-2 in Thursday's opener despite controlling the contest with a plus-32 shot differential - the largest positive margin in a regulation postseason defeat since 1996 - while Ben Bishop surrendered three goals on 14 shots.

The Lightning scored on a league-best 10.7 percent of their shots during the regular season, but converted just 4.3 percent in Game 1. They had 16 fewer shots in Saturday's Game 2, but scored on 16.7 percent to down the Red Wings 5-1.

"We played very similar to what we did the other night ... I thought we were pretty good in Game 1," coach Jon Cooper said. "We continued with that and have played two pretty solid games. I'd like to see us coming out 2-0, but it's 1-1 and that's better than 0-2. Now we can go win on the road."

For Detroit, splitting the two-game set in Tampa will likely be considered a success considering the Lightning's proficiency on home ice. They finished as the NHL's best team at home with 65 points, including wins in 21 of their final 25 contests.

They've been far less successful on the road, securing only 43 points - fewest among the 16 playoff teams.

Ben Bishop, who bounced back from Thursday's disappointment with 23 saves Saturday, owned a .904 save percentage away from Tampa this season - 33rd among all goalies with at least 15 road starts - compared with a .925 mark at home.

For Cooper, however, it's his team's proven ability to handle hostile environments that matters in the playoffs, not the overall record.

"We were marginally about .500 on the road. Would we like to have a better record? No question," Cooper said. "But when you look at some of the venues we won in ... we won in Montreal, we won in Detroit, we've won in some pretty hectic buildings against some pretty good teams."

The Lightning earned a 4-3 shootout victory at Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 9 before falling 4-0 on March 28.

Petr Mrazek was the hero for the Red Wings in Game 1 with 44 saves but he stumbled through Saturday's loss, allowing four goals on 18 shots before being pulled after two periods.

He'll be back in net Tuesday for his home postseason debut.

"This is the way I looked at it," coach Mike Babcock told the Red Wings' official website. "I thought our goalie was real good in Game 1. I thought their goalie was real good in Game 2.

"We got a five-game series against Tampa and it looks like it's going to be fun."

Henrik Zetterberg has only eight points against the Lightning in 17 career games including the postseason, his worst points-per-game average against any opponent. He hasn't produced a single point in six meetings with Tampa Bay this season and seven overall dating back to 2013-14.

The Lightning have not won a road postseason game since 2011, as they were swept in four games by Montreal last season.

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