The Florida Panthers couldn’t hold a two-goal lead after forty minutes and fell to the Detroit Red Wings, 4-3 in a shootout, Friday night at BB&T Center.
Reilly Smith opened the scoring with the 2:20 left in the first period. Smith took a pass from Jason Demers and ripped a wrister off the iron and in from just above the left circle for his seventh. Jussi Jokinen picked up the secondary assist on the power-play goal.
Detroit countered 12 seconds into the middle stanza when Henrik Zetterberg was able to push a loose puck to Anthony Mantha in the slot after a Panthers turnover, and he turned and snapped it by Roberto Luongo.
Demers restored Florida’s lead 1:17 later by throwing a long wrist shot past rookie goaltender Jared Coreau. Jaromir Jagr dug the puck off the boards and fed Aleksander Barkov, who got it back Demers at the point.
Derek MacKenzie put the Panthers up by two when he one-timed Mike Matheson’s beautiful cross-ice pass home at the 10:27 mark. Paul Thompson drew the secondary helper on the captain’s fourth goal. of the campaign.
The Red Wings scored twice in a wide-open third period that saw the teams combine for 29 shots on goal.
After the speedy Andreas Athanasiou chased down Dylan Larkin’s dump in, he rounded the net and set up Drew Miller with a gorgeous cross to pull Detroit within one.
Frans Nielsen tied the game with 6:09 remaining in regulation when he knocked the rebound of Gustav Nyquist’s shot past Luongo. Thomas Vanek collected an assist for setting up Nyquist’s initial chance from behind the net.
After overtime failed to produce a winner, the game went to the shootout where Vanek and Barkov both converted in the second round after first round failures by Athanasiou and Vincent Trocheck.
Round three saw Nielsen start out slowly before racing in on Luongo and slipping the puck through his five-hole after a backhand-to-forehand deke. The goal was upheld after video review.
Coreau denied Nick Bjugstad with a nice pad stop to post his first NHL win and give the Red Wings the bonus point.
Florida’s inability to close this one out cost them a much-needed point in the standings as the one point gained merely matched the output of the third place Boston Bruins, who fell in overtime in Raleigh. The Panthers are off until Wednesday, when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town.
Cogs & Sprockets
- The Red Wings won for the first time this season when trailing after two periods. They were 0-10 coming into the game.
- Aleksander Barkov’s second period assist extended his points streak to five games.
- Jared Coreau’s first win came in his second NHL start. The 25-year-old, up from Grand Rapids due to an injury to Jimmy Howard, finished with 31 saves.
- Keith Yandle had a goal waved off due to Nick Bjugstad being in the crease and crowding Coreau. The denied marker would have give the Cats a three-goal lead.
- Roberto Luongo made 36 stops in a losing effort which saw him remain stuck at 447 wins. One more moves Lu past Terry Sawchuk into sole possession of fifth place all-time.
- In addition to his goal and shootout-winner, Frans Nielsen registered a game-high five shots and went 10 of 18 on faceoffs.
- The injury bug struck the Cats again with Reilly Smith leaving the game in the second period with a head injury. Smith is expected to be out for 7-10 days.
- Winging It In Motown has more on the Red Wings win, which helped them avoid a season sweep.