The Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings take to the ice again tonight in an NHL Playoffs Game 6 matchup. Detroit finds themselves in a pretty solid situation at this point, holding a 3-2 series lead over the Lightning.
Tampa Bay was horrendous on the road this season, now it could cost them the rest of the playoffs as well. The Lightning ended the regular season with a record of just 18-16-7 away from their own building, good for fourth-best in the Eastern Conference, but certainly not great. Tampa Bay did steal a game in this series from Detroit, though, trailing by a couple of goals late in Game 4 but ultimately forcing overtime, where they quickly took advantage.
And then Tampa had an excellent opportunity to take a commanding 3-2 lead in the series, but Detroit flat out played great for 60 minutes of hockey on Saturday. Now the Red Wings are the ones with the commanding lead and a chance to move into the next round of the post season. Petr Mrazek had his second shutout over Tampa Bay in the post season in that game, stopping all 28 shots headed his way. In fact, Mrazek has been the only goalie to shut out the Lightning all year, also giving them a zero in a game during the regular season.
Steven Stamkos and the Lightning are going to be pressing in this game tonight, especially if they fall behind early. The Red Wings can slow the game down and force Tampa Bay into not being able to play a wide-open style of hockey and they will certainly do that if they get any type of lead in this game. Ben Bishop has done a decent job in net for the Lightning, and he will have to play huge tonight. Neither team has won two straight in the series yet and for that streak to continue, Bishop is going to have to come up with a monster game in between the pipes for the Lightning.
That's a lot of pressure, especially on the road. Despite having their best regular season in franchise history, the Lightning are looking at ending the campaign in the first round of the playoffs.
Free Pick: Red Wings
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