Tampa Bay Has Slight Edge Over Red Wings in Game 7
Tampa Bay forward Tyler Johnson and Red Wings goal-tender Petr Mrazek promise an exciting duel ahead of Game 7 of the NHL playoffs. The match is scheduled on Wednesday evening.
Johnson’s brace at Detroit barred the Red Wings from rounding up the series on home-ice in Game 6, Monday night. Lightning won 5-2 in Game 6. The League’s highest-scoring side now faces acid test with Game 7 at home as Mrazek’s heroics and the Red Wings’ defensive strategy kept them at bay.
The series swung both ways before going to the wire. The Red Wing goal-tender pulled of 23 saves in Game 6, the best being the reflex-controlled stick stop of Brian Boyle in the second period.
Each side registered alternate wins, scoring 15 goals each so far.
“This is Game 7. We worked extremely hard to get ourselves in this position,” Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos revealed a day before the decider. “No one remembers what happened in Game 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. We have to be a lot better than we have been. They’ve come in here and beat us twice. We have that mentality we were the best team at home in the league for a reason, and we have to show that.”
The winners will play the Eastern Conference semifinals at Montreal.
The victories in Game 1 and Game 5 at Tampa Bay could boost the Red Wings ahead of the final encounter. Though the last time they played a Game 7 in the playoffs, they lost 1-2 to Chicago Blackhawks, conceding an unfortunate goal in overtime.
But the Detroit outfit will miss their dependable defense-man Niklas Kronwall. The veteran star is ruled out of the game due to a one-match suspension he picked up for “launching into a hit” on Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov. The NHL department of Player Safety announced the suspension on Tuesday.