Detroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg. UPI/Gary C. Caskey | License Photo
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings lost against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, but not on Tuesday.
Center Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist to lead the Red Wings to a 3-1 win against the Lightning at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings lost to Tamps in a first round playoff series in seven games last season.
"They're a great team. It's very simple why they played in the Stanley Cup Finals last year," said Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard, who made 20 saves. "They're one of the best teams in the East, we think we're very comparable. I thought we showed that tonight."
Winger Gustav Nyquist and defenseman Kyle Quincey also scored for Detroit (3-0-0)
"Obviously we have a little history here from playoffs last year so not as intense that it was in April but I think it was a well-played game," Zetterberg said. "Two good goalies going at it. Howie was good again today. Bishop played well. Obviously we got one on the power play, our PK was good. Overall it was a good game."
Right winger Ryan Callahan scored for Tampa Bay and goalie Ben Bishop stopped 21 shots.
"A chess match. Bouncy ice. Close checking game," Lightning center Brian Boyle said. "... They play the same. It's a grind every shift. They play four lines for 60 (minutes) and compete."
Nyquist opened the scoring with a power-play goal with 2:10 left in the second period. He beat Bishop with a wrist shot from the right face-off dot. It was Nyquist's first goal of the season.
"Big power-play goal. Good shot by (Nyquist), great net front presence by (left winger Justin Abdelkader, who was in front of Bishop and was originally credited with the goal)," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "And then I thought our PK was real good in critical moments. Specialty teams can be a little misleading depending on the time of the game. I thought in tonight's game the timing was great."
Zetterberg made it 2-0 8:25 into the second period with his second goal. He scored on a shot from the high slot.
Abdelkader also screened Bishop on that goal.
"They picked the corners, we didn't ... Big time shots," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "That's what you've got to do against good goalies."
Zetterberg has seven points (two goals and five assists) in three games.
Callahan put the Lightning on the board with 8:57 left. He beat Howard with a one-time slap shot from the top of the right circle. It was Callahan's second goal and the first that Howard had given up this season.
"Hard-fought battle. I think their goalie played pretty well," Boyle said.
Said Cooper: "It was a deja vu playoff game all over again."
Quincey scored into an empty net with less than two minutes left to seal it.
Red Wings defenseman Mike Green made an outstanding defensive play by diving and knocking the puck away from Lightning right winger J.T. Brown at the center red line to prevent a breakaway with a little less than three minutes remaining in the second.
Howard stopped center Vladislav Namestnikov from the right circle on a 2-on-1 rush a little past the halfway mark of the second period.
Lightning center Steven Stamkos hit the goal post from the high slot area with 3:29 left in the middle period.
Howard stopped Tampa Bay right winger Erik Condra from the right circle off the rush with 6:09 left in the first period.
Bishop made a nice save on Nyquist from the slot with 3:48 remaining in the opening period.
NOTES: Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill and Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper have known each other for 15 years and are good friends. They coached against each other in the junior United States Hockey League and the American Hockey League. ... Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman spent his entire Hall of Fame playing career with Detroit. ... The Red Wings were without C Pavel Datsyuk (recovering from ankle surgery), D Dan DeKeyser (foot) and F Darren Helm (shoulder, concussion). Detroit RW Johan Franzen was a late scratch. He was replaced in the lineup by C Landon Ferraro. ... Tampa Bay was without F Craig Paquette (foot).