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Panthers stymied by Bernier in 2-1 loss to Red Wings

Cats waste solid performance from Bob, end road trip on sour note

Florida Panthers v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings got second period goals from Patrick Nemeth and Mathias Brome, and Jonathan Bernier stopped 39 shots as the Detroit Red Wings handed the Florida Panthers its first regulation loss on the road with a 2-1 win at Little Caesars Arena.

After blowing out the Red Wings on Friday, it looked like we might be in for more of the same when the Panthers took a 1-0 lead 14:43 when the second power play unit came up with its first of the season.

Anthony Duclair took a a drop pass from Frank Vatrano and cut to the middle before finding Alex Wennberg alone in front of the net. Wennberg put the moves on Bernier before depositing the puck in the back of the net after goaltender got his stick blade on it.

The Red Wings, who only had five shots in first, came alive in the second period and tied the game at 10:09 of the second.

Luke Glendening beat Juho Lammikko on an offensive draw and the puck went back to defenseman Christian Djoos, who sent it over to his partner Nemeth. After the draw, Brett Connolly decided to pressure Djoos instead of going out to Nemeth, leaving him an open path to the left circle. Nemeth would wire a shot over Sergei Bobrovsky’s shoulder for his first goal in 71 games.

Brome notched his first NHL goal and point when he knocked in the rebound of Dylan Lakin’s shot with 2:33 left in the frame. Larkin was able to claim a loose puck near the right boards and slip away from MacKenzie Weegar and Wennberg to get the initial shot off.

That was it for the scoring. Despite testing Bernier 16 times in the third and matching their season-high in shots (39), the Cats couldn’t find the equalizer to leave the Motor City with at least a point.

While you can’t win them all, this was a frustrating result as two of Florida’s three losses in regulation this season have now come against lowly Detroit, which is 29th in the league standings. The Cats had plenty of shots, including high-quality chances by Carter Verhaeghe, Duclair and Gustav Forsling that didn’t end up finding twine. I wasn’t happy with the first goal Bobrovsky gave up, he made himself very small once again, but it was still a nice snipe by Nemeth. The struggling Cats keeper stopped 25 of 27 and played well enough to get the win, but his teammates didn’t come through with the goal support, so this feels like a wasted opportunity on a couple different levels. The Panthers will return home to open a three-game set with the Dallas Stars, the only team in the Central Division they haven’t played yet, on Monday.

Cogs & Sprockets

  • Alex Wennberg scored his first power-play goal of the season. He has tallied five goals and seven points (5G/2A) over his past eight games. Wennberg also won 11 of his 16 faceoffs and had three shots on goal.
  • Anthony Duclair and Frank Vatrano recorded their first power-play points of the season with assists on Wennberg’s tally. Duclair became the seventh Panther to reach ten points this season.
  • The Cats killed off both of Detroit’s power-play opportunities. The Panthers have not surrendered a power-play goal against Detroit in their past nine games (25-25).
  • It took Mathias Brome 18 NHL games to produce his first goal. Brome joined the Red Wings after playing the last four seasons in the Swedish Hockey League with Mora IK and Orebro HK.
  • Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad each led the Panthers with five shots on goal.
  • For the flip side of this one, check out Winging It In Motown.

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