The Detroit Red Wings and the Tampa Bay Lightning will meet up again in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 2nd year in a row. The Lightning and Red Wing finished 2nd and 3rd in the Atlantic Division.
Detroit Red Wings X-Factor
The Detroit Red Wings need Niklas Kronwall to play real good in this series. Kronwall missed several games this year and his output has been the lowest since The 06-07 season. He still remains on the Red Wings Top defensive pair.
Tampa Bay Lightning X-Factor
Tampa Bay has been bit by the injury bug late in the season. With Victor Headman possibly coming back from injury, it will take a couple of games to get back into top form. Matt Carle has to come in to play and step up his game. Since Carle came back from injury he has been getting more playing time and has made good use of it. With Stamkos out the Lightning will need all the help they can get on special Teams play.
Who Wins the Series
As a Red Wings fan this is hard to say, but I think the Tampa Bay Lighting will win this series in 6 or less. The Red Wings inconsistent play on Defense and in Goal tending lead me to think that the Lightning offense will take advantage of it.