For the fifth time in Florida's current five-game winning streak (their third such streak since Thanksgiving, btw), the Panthers scored at least three unanswered goals to open the game. That has never happened before in the history of the franchise, and they've done it against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Washington Capitals, and the Detroit Red Wings. Oh, and Toronto. Almost forgot the Maple Leafs. They've outscored those guys by a 25-to-8 count over that time. Florida is also 17-0-0 in Aaron Ekblad's last 17 games. They're 0-3-1 in the four games he missed. That's a stat for you.
Third Star Vincent Trocheck (16, 17) scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Panthers, while First Star Jaromir Jagr (16) had a marker and two helpers. Second Star Brandon Pirri (10) had a goal and an assist, Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen had two assists, and Derek MacKenzie (5) and Aleksander Barkov (15) each also lit the lamp for the Cats. Also getting in on the act were Corban Knight, Aaron Ekblad, and Alex Petrovic, with an assist each. Florida's much-maligned power play continued to show signs of life, going two-for-four on the night.
For the Wings, super-rookie Dylan Larkin netted Detroit's first two markers. Mike Green scored his third of the season midway through the third on the power play with an empty net for six-on-four action.
Jimmy Howard took the loss, allowing five of Florida's goals on 32 shots, while Roberto Luongo won his 424th career game to pass Tony Esposito into seventh all-time. Bobby Lou stopped 35 for the win.
Rank tonight's contributors to Florida's big win below. Just for fun.