Dylan Larkin broke an 11-game goalless drought Sunday afternoon as the Detroit Red Wings won on Florida’s west coast for the first time in more than a decade, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1.
Detroit’s victory was its first in Tampa since a 6-2 win on Feb. 17, 2011, a span of 17 games.
Without a goal since March 11, Larkin tallied his seventh of the season — and his first on the power play — giving the Red Wings a 1-0 lead late in the first period.
Valtteri Filppula, Michael Rasmussen and Marc Staal scored in the second period to give Detroit a 4-0 lead, and Darren Helm finished the scoring after Victor Hedman tallied Tampa Bay’s only goal.
Anthony Mantha, Luke Glendening and Vladislav Namestnikov each posted two assists for Detroit.
Thomas Greiss (3-15-5) earned just his second win in almost two months by allowing the lone goal on 28 shots for the Red Wings, who earned their fourth road win (4-14-2).
Tampa Bay’s Hedman scored in his 800th game, Anthony Cirelli skated in his 200th and Steven Stamkos and Cal Foote had assists for the Lightning.
A free-agent signing by the Lightning in October, goalie Chris Gibson made his first start in three seasons and just his 14th NHL appearance overall. He stopped 13 of 17 shots in his Tampa Bay debut.
Tampa Bay defenseman Ben Thomas, 24, also made his NHL debut and logged 14:23 of ice time, finishing minus-1 with one shot for the Lightning, who are now 5-2 against Detroit this sesason .
During his team’s first power play, Larkin found the net with a wrister from the left circle that handcuffed Gibson and squeaked in between his blocker and body.
Larkin’s goal, with just 12 seconds remaining in the first period, marked just the 15th time the Red Wings have scored first in 40 matches.
At 7:07 of the the second period, Greiss kept Tampa Bay scoreless when he made a crucial save with the blocker and shaft of the goalie stick, denying Stamkos’ one-timed blast on a three-on-one rush.
Former Lightning forward Filppula, Rasmussen and Staal scored their trio of second-period goals in a span of 2:53 and the Red Wings managed the game from there.
Hedman ended the shutout bid in the third at 4:12 with his seventh marker, but Helm’s empty-netter at 14:19 ended any threat of a comeback and dropped Tampa Bay to 15-4-0 on home ice.
–Field Level Media