scoring four times to hand the Wings a 5-4 loss.
Madison Bowey, Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader scored for the Wings before the Lightning struck. Steven Stamkos scored his 35th goal of the season when he sent the puck in off Jimmy Howard during a power play in the second period. Nikita Kucherov scored twice to reach 35 goals on the season, and Tyler Johnson and Brayden Point also contributed goals. The Wings responded by pulling Jimmy Howard with two minutes to go and were rewarded when Michael Rasmussen scored his first goal in 17 games.
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It was a lineup depleted by injuries/illness (Dylan Larkin, Mike Green, Jonathan Ericsson) and trades (Gustav Nyquist, Nick Jensen) that faced off against the playoff-clinched Lightning, but the Wings came out and grabbed momentum.
Half a Sheahan
When Abdelkader made it 3-0, 3:43 into the second period, it ended a streak of 40 games without a goal. (Riley Sheahan went 79 games without a goal to open the 2016-17 season). It’s been a poor season for Abdelkader, who isn’t producing much (six goals, 13 assists in 71 games) and isn’t playing physically. Abdelkader had 19 goals and 42 points in 2015-16, when he played with Pavel Datsyuk, but since that season Abdelkader has just 26 goals and 51 assists in 210 games. Abdelkader, 32, has four years left on a contract with a $4.25 million salary cap hit.
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Contact Helene St. James at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter.
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