Wings blow three-goal lead, bow to Lightning
Stamkos ties Lecavalier
DETROIT — Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning turned a three-goal deficit into a milestone night.
Stamkos tied Vincent Lecavalier for Tampa Bay’s career lead in goals, Nikita Kucherov scored twice in the third period and the Lightning rallied to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 on Thursday. Tampa Bay equaled its franchise record of 54 wins, set last season.
The Red Wings led 3-0 in the second when Stamkos scored on the power play to start Tampa Bay’s comeback. His 383rd goal pulled him even with Lecavalier.
“It feels a lot better now than it did when it happened — to do it in a win,” Stamkos said. “It’s something you probably process a little later, but just a huge honor to be sharing that with Vinny right now. He was so instrumental to me in my career and what he meant to this organization.”
Stamkos made it 3-1, and the NHL-leading Lightning weren’t done. The league’s highest-scoring team added four goals in the third, with Kucherov and Tyler Johnson scoring 26 seconds apart to give Tampa Bay the lead with 11:10 remaining. Kucherov made it 5-3 with 3:22 left.
Brayden Point also scored for the Lightning, early in the third. Madison Bowey, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Michael Rasmussen scored for the Red Wings, who lost for the 12th time in 13 games.
“I thought it was a bit deceiving with a 3-0 lead. We had a 3-0 lead, which is great. You’re putting yourself in position to win. But it wasn’t like we were dominating the game,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “If anything, they started to carry the play at 2-0. Especially in the first I thought we got hemmed in our zone a bunch.”