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Panthers bounce back with 2-1 win over Red Wings

Cats bank two more points and avoid losing streak

Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves and Alexander Wennberg and Patric Hornqvist provided the goals in the Florida Panthers 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at the BB&T Center.

By posting their third win over the Red Wings, the Cats avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time this season and climbed back into second place in the Central Division.

Detroit’s only goal of the game at 3:31 of the first period and on their second shot on net. Dylan Larkin picked the puck off at center ice after MacKenzie Weegar was pressured into a bad clear or pass (not exactly sure which) and sped into the offensive zone. He dished off to Filip Zadina in the left circle and he beat Bobrovsky between his blocker and body for his first of the season.

After scoring the only Florida goal in Saturday’s loss, Wennberg lit the lamp again when he ripped Jonathan Hubedeau’s set up underneath Thomas Greiss after Huberdeau collected a loose puck and played catch with Hornqvist behind the net before feeding out front at the 15:54 mark.

Hornqvist got the eventual game-winner 8:04 into the second period when Aaron Ekblad unloaded from the top of the right circle after taking a pass from Huberdeau and the puck deflected off the screening veteran’s chest and over the head of Greiss. Nice piece of power play work by the Cats as all five players (Aleksander Barkov and Keith Yandle were also on the ice) touched the puck before it found pay dirt.

Bobrovsky made three straight saves on Darren Helm late in the frame and then stopped everything the Red Wings threw at him in the third period as the Red Wings out-shot the Panthers by a 13-3 margin.

As with most of Florida’s wins this season (six of seven have been by one goal), it wasn’t pretty, but two points is two points. The Cats are one of five teams with a .800 or better winning percentage and are putting themselves in a position where the won’t have to overachieve the rest of the way to make the playoffs. Florida will play its next three games (two at home, one on the road) against the 9-1-1 Tampa Bay Lightning. This should provide a revealing look at where the club is actually at.

Gears & Spokes

  • Patric Hornqvist’s sixth goal was his fourth power-play goal of the season. That’s tied for third-most among NHL players this season.
  • The Panthers scored on their only power play and killed off all three of Detroit’s power play opportunities. Florida has not given up a power-play goal (19/19) against the Red Wings yet this season.
  • Jonathan Huberdeau has collected five assists in four games against the Red Wings this season.
  • Sergei Bobrovsky upped his record to 4-0-1. That’s the second-longest season-opening point streak by a Panthers goaltender in franchise history behind John Vanbiesbrouck’s 6-0-3 run in 1996-97.
  • Thomas Greiss was stingy yet again against the Cats, stopping 20 of 22 shots.
  • Brett Connolly and Radko Gudas were each credited with a game-high six hits.
  • Anthony Mantha returned to the lineup and led the Red Wings with four shots on goal.
  • Winging It In Motown has the flip side of Florida’s seventh win of the campaign

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