Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Killorn's third-period goal provided some much-needed breathing room as the Tampa Bay Lightning forced a Game 7 with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Tyler Johnson continued to shine with his third two-goal game of the playoffs, Jason Garrison and Cedric Paquette also lit the lamp and Nikita Kucherov tallied three assists for the Lightning, who will host the decisive game on Wednesday.
"I felt like our team gave 100 percent effort tonight," said Johnson. "It was desperation hockey with our backs against the wall and now we just have to carry it on to Game 7."
Ben Bishop made 22 saves in the important victory. The last time Tampa Bay was down 3-2 on the road in the playoffs was in 2004, when it won the final two games against the Calgary Flames and hoisted the Stanley Cup.
Tomas Tatar gave Detroit life with two goals and Petr Mrazek, who was coming off a 28-save shutout in Game 5, stopped 23 shots in defeat.
"No team has been able to win two games in a row in the series. So let's go to Tampa," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said.
With the teams skating 4-on-4, Tatar pulled the Red Wings within 3-2 just 1:39 into the third period. He stripped Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn of the puck, spun around in front and slid a shot through Bishop's pads.
Killorn then provided the Lightning with a timely goal, crushing Detroit's hope of a comeback by taking a turnover in the offensive zone and capping off a breakaway on a backhander with 5:09 left in regulation.
The Red Wings pulled Mrazek with three minutes to play, and Paquette scored into the vacated cage for a short-handed tally with 57 seconds left to account for the final score.
Johnson opened the scoring for the Lightning 3:47 into the game. Victor Hedman sent a long stretch pass through the neutral zone to Kucherov at the blue line. Kucherov dished the puck to a streaking Johnson, who shielded the puck on his backhand and lifted a shot over Mrazek's shoulder.
"To get one early was huge for us," Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said. "We just had a quiet calm about us the whole night. There was no panic on our bench. (Johnson) was the one who kickstarted it."
Garrison added to the Tampa Bay lead with 8:50 left in the first after taking a perfect cross-ice feed from Steven Stamkos and firing a shot past a sprawled Mrazek for a 2-0 score.
The Red Wings produced quality chances on two ensuing power plays but Bishop was sharp, keeping it a two-goal game heading into the first intermission.
Mrazek kept the Red Wings in the game early in the middle stanza. He first brilliantly stopped Brian Boyle by extending his stick on a wrister in tight and made a sprawling save on Stamkos on the power play moments later.
Midway through the second, Tampa Bay took advantage of Brendan Smith's turnover in the neutral zone and Johnson beat Mrazek with a high wrister off a breakaway for a 3-0 lead.
Tatar put the Red Wings on the board with a power-play goal with 7:34 left in the second. He took a failed clear from Boyle and sent a pass to Niklas Kronwall at the left circle. Kronwall promptly sent it back and Tatar wristed the puck over Bishop's glove.
Johnson, who tied St. Louis' Vladimir Tarasenko for the playoff lead in goals with six, is the first player in franchise history to record three multi-goal games in a single playoff series. He also tied the team's record for goals in a single series, which Ruslan Fedotenko set from May 10-22, in 2004 ... The Lightning are now 7-6 all-time in elimination games ... Detroit went just 1-for-7 on the power play ... Boyle won nine of the 12 faceoffs he took.