Bolts, Red Wings try to solve respective issues in Detroit

10:42 AM, Dec 15, 2013   |    comments
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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning have lost seven straight on the road.

The Detroit Red Wings have won just twice in their past 14 games as the hosting team.

Something will have to give on Sunday afternoon when the Bolts and Red Wings meet for the second time in four days.

Tampa Bay and Detroit are tied for third place in the Atlantic Division with 39 points -- four points back of second place -- but neither are in their element today.

The Lightning are 6-8-2 on the road compared to 12-3-1 mark at home and have not won as the visiting club since Nov. 12 in Montreal. They have been shut out three times on their current road skid, including Saturday's 3-0 defeat to the New Jersey Devils.

The Red Wings are in the opposite boat, having lost three straight at home while also going 2-6-6 in their past 14 at Joe Louis Arena. Overall, they are 10-3-3 on the road but just 5-7-6 in Detroit and are coming off a 4-1 setback to visiting Pittsburgh last night.

Both Tampa Bay and Detroit were in action on Saturday just two days after an encounter in Tampa. The Lightning came away with a win on that day, posting a 2-1 shootout victory.

Ben Bishop stopped all six skaters he faced in the tiebreaker for the Bolts and Martin St. Louis had the shootout winner. Nikita Kucherov had the regulation tally.

Kyle Quincey netted the lone goal for the Red Wings and Jonas Gustavsson stopped 26-of-27 shots in the setback.

The Lightning had gone 0-7-0 with a tie in their previous eight meetings with the Red Wings before winning a pair of games this season. That includes a 3-2 overtime win at Detroit on Nov. 9, snapping an 11-game series road winless streak.

Detroit had gone 10-0 with a tie in the previous 11 encounters in the Motor City since Tampa Bay's last road victory in the series on Jan. 12, 1994.

The Lightning will look to get their offense going after last night's shutout defeat. Anders Lindback faced just 19 shots in net, but allowed three goals and Tampa Bay had a four-game point streak snapped (0-2-2).

"The one thing that's saved us is we've been pretty good at home," Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said. "We need to be a .500 team on the road and we've dipped."

Tampa has been shut out six times this season and concludes a three-game trip on Tuesday versus the New York Islanders.

Bishop is likely to start today and is 2-0-0 with a 1.22 goals against average in three games (2 starts) versus Detroit, stopping 56-of-59 shots faced.

The Red Wings were bested 4-1 on Saturday by the Penguins, giving up four straight goals after Niklas Kronwall tallied 6:09 into the game for the hosts. Pittsburgh scored twice on the power play in the opening period.

"Their special teams outplayed our special teams. Their power plays were simply chaos and their big guys were better than our big guys," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.

Gustavsson allowed four goals on 25 shots in the loss, Detroit's fourth in a row (0-2-2).

Already playing without No. 1 goaltender Jimmy Howard (sprained MCL) and forwards Henrik Zetterberg (herniated disc) and Stephen Weiss (sore groin), the Red Wings lost winger Justin Abdelkader late in the first period after he took a hit to the head from Pittsburgh defenseman Deryk Engelland.

Abdelkader is not expected to play tonight in the second contest of a four- game homestand.

Netminder Peter Mrazek is in line to start for the Red Wings and it would be his second this season and fourth of his career. He made his season debut on Nov. 2 with a 14-save shutout in Edmonton.

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