Red Wings smother Lightning, take 3-2 series lead

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If you want to sum up the Detroit Red Wings’ defensive clinic of a 4-0 Game 5 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, it’s probably easiest just to note that the Bolts suffered through a period’s worth of game time without a single shot on goal.

The Red Wings simply bottled up the Lightning’s attack, frustrating the likes of Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson along the way. Some wonder if officiating only made things worse for scorers:

Others chalk it all up to playoff hockey.

Many will wonder about Stamkos’ struggles, whether there’s been some obstruction happening or not.

Mike Babcock and his Detroit Red Wings might just call it a veteran team playing skin-tight, frustrating defense. With a 3-2 series lead and Game 6 coming up it Detroit, an up-and-down Red Wings squad has a chance to upset a strong (if young) Lightning team.

Of course, plenty of credit must go to Petr Mrazek, who now has two shutouts in his past three playoff games. Babcock showed some courage in sticking with Mrazek after a tough defeat in this series, and that’s looking like a wise choice so far.

Much like in Game 5, Tampa Bay put together a decent comeback effort in the third period, but the Bolts didn’t get the same breaks this time around. Now the upstart team finds its backs against the wall, facing the prospect of going 0-for-2 in playoff series under otherwise-quite-successful head coach Jon Cooper.