The Tampa Bay Lightning fell to an Atlantic Division rival on Monday night. Tampa fell on home ice to the Detroit Red Wings, who needed a victory in this game. This loss could have caused head coach Jon Cooper to mull over the negatives. However, the Lightning bench boss found a silver lining in defeat.

Cooper spoke with the media following the game. He acknowledged the team's impressive run of form before this loss. Tampa Bay was 8-1-1 in their last 10 games entering play on Monday. It's because of this run of form that he isn't racking his brain about what went wrong against the Red Wings.

“We haven't lost in regulation since the first week in March, and we're in April,” Cooper said, via “We've asked a lot from the guys and they've delivered. Unfortunately (the loss) is to a team that's chasing us, but when you get down to this time of year, you're playing everybody in your conference anyway. I can't sit here and be hard on the guys, they've played really well for us.”

Red Wings beat Lightning for two important points

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper watches game play against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at SAP Center at San Jose.
Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings once led the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoff race. Jon Cooper and his team tried to fend off their division rival, who had gone on a tear in January and February. However, Detroit has since fallen behind. And that means their two points on Monday are vital as they look to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“It's the little things,” Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli said, via “Give credit to them, they came out, played hard and capitalized on the chances that they had. We'll watch some video tomorrow and we'll be better.”

Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde may be fighting for his job, according to recent rumors. On Monday, though, he expressed his satisfaction with how his team played. Detroit had a rather tough road trip, and the Red Wings bench boss is happy with how Detroit fared at the end.

“We pointed in three of our last four on the road. I was really proud of the group. We’ve had a lot of adversity all year, ups and downs, and we’ve just kept in the fight, kept battling,” Lalonde said, via

Tampa Bay has inside track for playoffs

Detroit emerged victorious on Monday night. However, Jon Cooper and the Lightning remain in a better position to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tampa has a seven-point lead over Detroit and the Washington Capitals in the wild card race. Washington currently holds the final wild card spot over the Red Wings thanks to a tiebreaker.

Beyond the cushion, the Lightning have a game in hand over Detroit. Meanwhile, the Capitals have two games in hand over the Winged Wheel. Detroit does play Washington again on April 9. However, their road to the Stanley Cup Playoffs remains rather rocky.

Overall, the Lightning appear primed to return to the playoffs for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons. Whether the Red Wings join them remains to be seen. That said, Detroit gained an important two points on Monday night. And for the time being, they remain alive in the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.