(The Sports Xchange) - For the second game in a row, Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn combined for a go-ahead goal in the third period, sparking the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night at Amalie Arena and a 2-0 lead in the opening-round series in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
On Wednesday, Johnson fed Killorn for the game-winner with 11:08 left in the game. Two nights later, it was Killorn off a pass from Johnson. Killorn skated behind the net and passed the puck back to Johnson, who poked it in around the near post for a 3-2 lead with 13:28 to play, two minutes after Detroit had tied the score.
Johnson followed with a second goal with 5:12 left after Nikita Kucherov tracked down a loose puck deep in the Detroit zone and fed Johnson for the score.
Killorn got in on the scoring, too, flicking a long shot off the boards for an empty-net goal with 2:44 left.
A physical series saw a major brawl in the final minute with the game’s outcome long decided, clearing the ice as infractions were sorted out -- a total of 77 minutes in penalties.
The series moves to Detroit, which plays host to Game 3 on Sunday. The home team has won all six meetings between the teams this season.
For the second straight game, Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop outdueled Detroit’s Jimmy Howard by making 30 saves.
Detroit nearly scored with seven minutes left as a high shot caromed off Bishop and off Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan, but it landed on the side of the net, just missing a tying goal.
Tampa Bay is up 2-0 despite playing without top scorer Steven Stamkos, but the Lightning has gotten seven goals from one prolific line in two games: three from Kucherov and two each from linemates Johnson and Killorn.
Johnson, who was shoved and hit his head on the boards in the regular-season finale, has come back not only healthy but playing at the same high level he was in last year’s playoffs run to the Stanley Cup finals.
Down 2-1 to open the third period, the Red Wings tied the score on their power play, which had gone 0 of 8 to start the series, including four in Friday’s game. But after a high-sticking penalty against Tampa Bay, former Lightning player Brad Richards scored on a long shot past Bishop to the top left corner of the net to tie the score at 2 with 15:33 left.
The Lightning, already up 1-0 in the series after winning at home on Wednesday night, took a 2-1 lead into the third period of Game 2 thanks to a goal by Brian Boyle on a beautiful drop pass by Jonathan Drouin with 13:14 left in the second period.
Drouin pushed ahead and passed back to Boyle, who fired the puck into the top left corner of the net past Howard.
The Red Wings had numerous opportunities to tie the score in the second period, with three power plays in the final 8:10.
The first came after a brawl, incited by Detroit’s Danny DeKeyser sending Tampa Bay’s Ondrej Palat into the boards. Not only was DeKeyser not called for a penalty, the ensuing fight gave Detroit a power play, but the Lightning were able to kill it off.
Another questionable call on Boyle for interference gave Detroit another power play with 5:57 left and yet another with 2:25 to play. But Tampa Bay’s lead held, with Bishop making a key save with 49 seconds left and Callahan blocking two passes at the end of the power play to close out the kill.
Detroit had tied the score at 1 early in the second period after Dylan Larkin, just seconds out of the penalty box, got a loose puck off the back boards and fired a quick shot through the legs of Bishop with 16:30 left in the period.
Tampa Bay took the lead on a five-on-three power play late in the first period as Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader were called for penalties 27 seconds apart.
Thirty seconds into the five-on-three, Tampa Bay scored on a one-timer by Kucherov, who had two goals in Wednesday’s Game 1 victory.
Lightning right winger J.T. Brown left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return. Brown played only five shifts and had 2:29 in ice time before the injury. He scored eight goals in the regular season.