DETROIT – After entering the season without a victory over the Detroit Red Wings since 2003, the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning can end it with a five-game sweep of their new Atlantic Division foes on Sunday.
The Lightning look to extend an 11-game point streak (7-0-4) and move closer to clinching their first playoff appearance in three years. The Red Wings snapped a three-game slide with a 4-2 win at Toronto Saturday and own a two-point lead for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Lightning beat the Red Wings in overtime, in a shootout and won the last two in regulation – taking a pair in Detroit after failing to win there since 1994. Former Red Wing Valtteri Filppula hopes to add to his career-best 11-game point streak as well for Tampa Bay. Detroit starts a three-game homestand up by a pair of points on Washington and Toronto in the wild-card race.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, SunSports (Tampa Bay), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (41-24-9): Captain Steven Stamkos has totally changed the fortunes of Tampa Bay's power play, which has converted 10 times in its last 31 tries over the past seven games. Stamkos has nine goals in 12 games since returning from a broken leg – five of them with the man advantage, including the winner in overtime at Buffalo on Saturday. J.T. Brown moved to Stamkos' line Saturday and set him up for a goal while Alex Killorn switched to a different trio and scored for the first time in 12 games.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (34-26-14): Darren Helm stepped up in a critical 4-2 victory at Toronto with his first career hat trick after going 20 games without a goal. The Red Wings have recorded 24 goals in their last seven contests, gaining a point in five of them (4-2-1), and Gustav Nyquist boasts 10 goals in his last eight outings. All Star center Pavel Datsyuk (inflamed left knee) could return soon, but won't likely play Sunday, while center David Legwand looks to snap a four-game point drought.
1. Tampa Bay RW Ryan Callahan boasts four goals in his last five games and nine points in 12 outings since being acquired at the trade deadline.
2. Detroit LW Tomas Tatar has recorded four goals and seven points with a plus-8 rating over the last six contests.
3. The Lightning have won 20 games on the road for the fourth time in their history (20-16-3) and needs to win their final two to tie a team record.