Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick & Prediction JANUARY 21st 2024

The Detroit Lions have captivated the state of Michigan, and the state’s collective focus seems to be on the team’s NFC divisional round playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Still, there’s another game between teams from Detroit and the Tampa area being played Sunday night in downtown Detroit.

The Red Wings are focused on ending their seven-year playoff drought, and they’ll play a key Eastern Conference game against Tampa Bay on Sunday night, set to start shortly after the Lions’ game ends. The NHL game time was moved to 7 p.m., in part to accommodate fans who want to watch both games.

The Red Wings lost their first regulation game in 2024 on Friday, falling to Carolina 4-2 to end a three-game road trip. They had gone 6-0-1 in January to climb back into the postseason picture.

The Hurricanes tossed a defensive net over the Red Wings, limiting them to 12 shots on goal.

“It’s been a real good road trip, a disappointing result (Friday), but that’s a real good hockey team in this building,” said forward J.T. Compher, who scored one of Detroit’s goals. “They play super tight, they play the right way, and we probably didn’t do enough to break through offensively. You have to keep chipping the puck in and get it back, but they played real good, and it’s not the result we wanted.”

Detroit had won its previous three games, including road victories over Toronto and Florida.

“They bring it every single night,” Red Wings goaltender Alex Lyon said of the Hurricanes. “I know a lot of guys on that team, and they’re ultra-competitive and they always show up. It’s a good measuring stick for us in this difficult stretch. But if we keep trending in the right direction, keep playing like that, we’ll be successful more times than not.”

Detroit’s Patrick Kane missed the game due to a lower-body injury and isn’t expected to play on Sunday. Linemate Alex DeBrincat is trying to break out of a slump.

DeBrincat, who is tied for the team lead with 40 points, hasn’t scored a goal in the past nine games. He scored two goals against the Lightning in Detroit’s home opener in October, a 6-4 Red Wings victory.

Sunday’s matchup will begin a stretch of six consecutive home games for the Red Wings, all but one before the All-Star break.

Tampa Bay will play the second game of a back-to-back set; the Lightning defeated Buffalo 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.

Nicholas Paul had a goal and an assist as the Lightning stretched their winning streak to five games. Tyler Motte contributed a short-handed goal, and Calvin de Haan clinched the victory with an empty-netter.

“The urgency in our game has really been there of late,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Backup goaltender Jonas Johannson made 26 saves in his first outing since Dec. 31.

“I thought we defended great today. Didn’t really give them too much for the first two periods,” Cooper said. “Third period, they had the puck more than we did, but I never completely felt in duress. In the end, you’ve got to keep the puck out of your net. When you give up one goal, you’ve got a good chance of winning the game, and that’s what we did.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy will get the call on Sunday. He’s 14-2 in 16 career starts against the Red Wings with a 2.08 goals-against average and a .929 saves percentage.

–Field Level Media

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