The Detroit Red Wings would have liked to accumulate two more points before they wrapped up play for the 2014 Winter Olympic break, but they couldn’t Saturday night. Ten Wings will go to Sochi after the loss to Tampa Bay and the rest will take a two week vacation.
The veterans gave the Red Wings a boost late in the first period when Daniel Alfredsson picked the corner of Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop off of a pass from behind the net from the magic man. Pavel Datsyuk collected his 800th career point in 816 career games on the first period goal.
The first period ended with no response from the Lightning, but they were quick to pick up their slow starting pace. In the second period, Ondrej Palat picked up the trash left in front of the net by Martin St. Louis, who received his 55th point on the season with the assist.
Tomas Jurco answered with a backhander that grazed the inner-roof of the meshed-net and bounced out, causing a delayed call from the referee.
Tampa Bay responded late in the period off of a bouncing puck that fumbled off of the pad of Jimmy Howard after leaving the stick of Tom Pyatt to bring the game back to a 2-2 tie with 2:46 left in the period.
The Red Wings did not retaliate at any point in the third period. Alex Killorn gave the Bolts a jolt of energy with 3:11 left in the third period when he scored a goal on Jimmy Howard assisted by Teddy Purcell and Pyatt, who tallied his second point of the game.
An empty net goal sealed the deal when Ondrej Palat sauced the puck from beyond the blue line into the Red Wing goal with just over a minute left in regulation.
The Wings went on to lose the game 4-2 after having two separate leads throughout the game.
As the Olympic Games have officially begun, ten Red Wings boarded a plane to Sochi, Russia where they will began representing their countries and take a break from the regular season of the NHL. All other players are confirmed to be taking a vacation with family and associates for a week until they get back on the ice for practice.
The Wings will return to action on Feb. 26 in Montreal where they will take on the Canadiens in an Atlantic Divisional matchup.
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Information from the Detroit Red Wings was used in this report.
For more information on the Detroit Red Wings and NHL hockey from analysts and journalists at Michigan State University – tune into Octopi Hockeytown podcasts and embrace the Spartan debate at www.impact89fm.org/sports.
Austin Goodman is a multimedia journalist at Impact Sports.
DET – 17:18 – D. Alfredsson (Wrist) P. Datsyuk
TBL – 1:44 PPG – O. Palat (Wrist) M. St. Louis, V. Hedman
DET – 11:19 – T. Jurco (Backhand) R. Sheahan, D. DeKeyser
TBL – 17:14 – T. Pyatt (Backhand) S. Salo, J.T. Brown
TBL – 16:49 – A. Killorn (Wrist) T. Purcell, T. Pyatt
TBL – 18:57 EN – O. Palat (Wrist) T. Johnson, S. Salo
First: Ben Bishop
(33SA, 2GA, .939 SV%, 26-28 EV, 5-5 PP, 0-0 SH)
Second: Ondrej Palat
(2G, +1, 4 shots, 1 hit, 21:24 TOI)
Third: Jimmy Howard
(27SA, 3GA, .889 SV%, 19-21 EV, 4-5 PP, 1-1 SH, 59:45 TOI)