The first round ends with one last Game 7, as the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Detroit Red Wings in a decisive match. Here’s the pertinent information …
Red Wings at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN (with pre-game at 6:30 p.m. ET)
As Mike Babcock notes, neither one of these teams has won two straight games in this series, so at least that train of logic benefits Detroit.
The Lightning aren’t totally inexperienced when it comes to Game 7’s as a franchise, but they haven’t seen one since the new regime took over. There’s plenty of pressure on GM Steve Yzerman and especially head coach Jon Cooper to finally win a playoff series. Promising progress or not, patience might wear thin in some quarters if they go 0-for-2 in postseason rounds.
Detroit obviously boasts a ton of veteran experience, including that of head coach Mike Babcock. The rumors swirling around his future with the organization will persist either way, but if the Red Wings lose tonight, those questions (and maybe some drama?) will surface a lot sooner.
It all shapes up to be an intriguing and unpredictable Game 7, which makes for a fitting way to end a fantastic first round.