TAMPA, Fla. — The All-Star break did nothing to cool the surging Tampa Bay Lightning.
Ben Bishop made 24 saves to get 100th win with Tampa Bay, Nikita Kucherov scored his 21st goal, and the Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Wednesday night.
"You never know how things are going to go," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "They had quite a long break, a little longer than ours. To come out with a win, especially against a good team you’re battling with, it’s big for us."
The Lightning moved two points ahead of Detroit for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Red Wings won two earlier meetings between the teams this season in Detroit.
"It’s one of these home games you have to take care of," Bishop said. "They kind of took it to us the first couple games, so it was nice to kind of return the favour."
J.T. Brown and Tyler Johnson also scored for the Lightning, who have won nine of 10.
Gustav Nyquist had Detroit’s lone goal. Petr Mrazek stopped 20 shots and had his seven-game road winning streak end.
The Red Wings went 0 for 2 on the power play, while allowing two goals on three Tampa Bay chances with the man advantage.
"In the end on the road, we lost the special teams 2-0," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said.
Bishop made several strong saves in the third, including one where he returned from behind the net to glove Pavel Datsyuk’s tough angle shot.
Kucherov put Tampa Bay up 3-1 on the power play at 3:23 of the third when he skated alone down the slot and scored off a pass from behind the net from Ondrej Palat. Kucherov added an assist and has points in 20 of his last 24 games (15 goals, 30 points).
Kucherov tied Steven Stamkos, who has one goal over the last seven games, for the team lead in goals. Stamkos had one shot and was minus-one.
After Nyquist tied it with a rebound goal at 5:06 of the second, Johnson made it 2-1 just 1:24 later during a power play. It was Johnson’s first goal in seven games, and sixth this season.
Brown opened the scoring 1:23 into the second from near the post off a nifty backhand pass from the right wing boards by Braydon Coburn.
The Red Wings outshot Tampa Bay 10-4 during the scoreless first period.
"It’s a big game, it’s a two big points," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "Losing points to this team, you can’t be happy about it."
NOTES: Bishop has 115 NHL wins overall. He previously played with St. Louis and Ottawa. … Datsyuk moved into seventh place in NHL games played by a Russian skater with his 922nd game. … The NHL announced that Tampa Bay GM and former Detroit star Steve Yzerman will play in the Stadium Series alumni game Feb 26 at Denver’s Coors Field. … Red Wings C Riley Sheahan (illness) didn’t play. … Palat played in his 200th NHL game. … Brown has scored two of his career 12 goals against Detroit.