TAMPA, Fla. — The homecoming couldn't have come out better for Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde.
Returning to the arena where Lalonde was part of a coaching staff that won Stanley Cups and just missed a third, and matching wits against friends Lightning coach Jon Cooper and assistant Jeff Blashill (who Lalonde replaced with the Wings), Lalonde earned early bragging rights.
The Wings won the first game Tuesday between the teams this season, 4-2.
Lalonde greeted many well-wishers and old friends after Tuesday's morning skate, and talked fondly of returning to Tampa.
"Good memories," Lalonde said. "Relationships, seeing guys. Winning the Stanley Cup (on home ice in 2021). Those are the things that resonate."
The victory gave the Wings (13-7-5) two victories in the first two games in what appeared to be challenging road trip.
Michael Rasmussen, Jonatan Berggren, and empty-net goals from Adam Erne and David Perron, while goaltender Ville Husso stopped 45 shots.
Berggren's goal provided the cushion in the third period, with the Wings clinging to a 1-0 lead.
Olli Maatta's shot from the top of the slot was redirected by Berggren in front, giving the Wings the two-goal lead at 5 minutes, 59 seconds of the third period.
Tampa's Steven Stamkos, with the goalie pulled, cut the Wings' lead to 2-1 with his 14th goal, just beating Husso between the pads and post.