DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings played a game of keep-away.
And while they had the puck, Jiri Hudler had a goal and an assist to help Detroit beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Thursday night. Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Kopecky and Dan Cleary also scored, and Chris Osgood made 21 saves for the NHL-leading Red Wings. Brad Richards and Mathieu Darche scored for Tampa Bay, which lost its sixth straight. Marc Denis stopped 35 shots.
“This is a good team. Puck possession-wise, they killed us,” Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis said. “It’s a tough way to play when you don’t have the puck against a good team like that.”
Hudler opened the scoring 3:24 into the game with his sixth goal, tipping in a pass from Chris Chelios. The Red Wings outshot the Lightning 17-1 in the first period. That’s the fewest shots Tampa Bay has had in a period this season.
“They had the puck, we didn’t for the first 20 minutes,” Richards said.
Osgood had no problem with the inactivity.
“I didn’t mind that,” he said. “If they have only one shot, it’s a pretty good chance they’re not going to score in the period.”
Osgood is 16-0 against Tampa Bay.
The Red Wings also held NHL scoring leader Vincent Lecavalier and St. Louis, who is in the top 15, pointless.
“They’ve got good players,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “You have to be disciplined and have great goaltending.”
Datsyuk’s power-play goal 4:04 into the second period made it 2-0. He put a rebound into an open net for his eighth goal of the season and fourth in three games.
Kopecky, who returned after missing three games with a sore shoulder, got his first goal of the season 7:39 into the middle period on a breakaway off the right wing. He made a fake on Denis and but a backhand shot just under the crossbar.
Richards put the Lightning on the board with 7:57 left in the period on a one-time shot from the left circle for his eighth goal.
Cleary added his eighth goal 2:05 into the third period when he shot in a rebound from the right circle.
“I thought our team played well,” he said. “We got a lot of shots and we were physical.”
Darche scored with 3:06 left.
Notes: Detroit LW Kirk Maltby missed the game because of a back injury after playing in 188 straight. … Red Wings C Kris Draper didn’t play because of a sprained knee. … The Red Wings recalled C Mark Hartigan from Grand Rapids of the AHL. … Lecavalier has 38 points to lead the league, and Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg is one of four players tied at second with 33 points.