It looked as if the game between the Lightning and Red Wings would begin to be lopsided at one point, but the Lightning pressed until the end, eventually losing 4-2 in the team's lone visit to Joe Louis Arena this season.
Dwayne Roloson made 31 saves and without him, the Lightning would not have been able to stay in this game.
The Red Wings grabbed an early lead, with a goal from Pavel Datsyuk at 4:58 of the first period. Datsyuk was initially stopped by Roloson, but got another rebound to make it a 1-0 game.
Trailing, the Lightning still played aggressive in the neutral zone and forced some turnovers that eventually created some odd man rushes. That was only in the first half of the first period though. The second half of it, was a different story for Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay seemed too concerned with getting that highlight reel play and the Red Wings weren't fooled for too long. Detroit began to forecheck and generate more shots on Roloson, who was the only reason the Lightning stayed in this game. Without him between the pipes, Tampa Bay could have easily faced a three, four, or even five-goal deficit in the first period.
The tides changed in the second period though when Lightning coach Guy Boucher switched up the lines and had Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, and Steven Stamkos playing on the top-line. This sparked the Lightning, who cut the deficit to only a goal when St. Louis fired home his first power play goal of the season behind Jimmy Howard at 9:35. Marc-Andre Bergeron started the scoring play though, when he kept the puck in the zone, allowing Teddy Purcell to set up St. Louis.
Tampa Bay's defense played more efficiently and with more urgency, blocking more shots and tying up more Red Wings players at the neutral zone in the second period. Both teams played a more defensive period and when Boucher double-shifted his top line, Matt Gilroy had a beauty of a pass to set to up Stamkos, who made it a 2-2 game with only 14 seconds left in the second period.
In the third period, Tomas Holmstrom broke the tie at 4:22 of the third period, when he batted in a puck off the shaft of his stick for a power play goal from Niklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk. The tic-tac-toe play was one for the highlight reels. The Red Wings extended the lead by two when Darren Helm scored at 13:14 of the third period.
The Lightning stayed in this one until the end, forcing Howard to make some mind boggling saves until the buzzer sounded. Tampa Bay had some excellent opportunities in the third period, even when they were shorthanded for four minutes, after Vincent Lecavalier high sticked Todd Bertuzzi. Gilroy was robbed by the Red wings goaltender and Stamkos, who already had a goal in the game, was stopped multiple times from letting the Lightning creep back into the game.