This game had the same feel as the Maple Leafs game, all though from the other side. It was the Red Wings that controlled the action most of the way, even outshooting the Panthers by an 11-2 margin in the first period.
Tim Thomas stood strong though, stopping all 11-shots he faced – most prime opportunities. The Panthers offense paid Thomas back for his effort at the end of the first, capitalizing on the few opportunities they had.
Coming out of the penalty box after serving his minor penalty, Scottie Upshall found himself with a puck on a breakaway, scoring on the second shot of the game and giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead after one period.
After coming out flat against in the first, Florida showed more life in the second but let go of their lead and fell behind 2-1 two-thirds of the way through the game.
Daniel Alfredsson and Gustav Nyqvist both scored for the Red Wings – making the Swedish managerial team happy, as both will try to do so in Sochi.
Alfredsson scored his 13th of the season, a power play goal, to tie the game up six minutes into the second. Nyqvist scored the game winner in the last half of the period, streaking around Mike Weaver and ripping a shot over the shoulder of Thomas.
It was a beautiful showing of speed and marksmanship. Brian Lashoff scored his first of the season, and second of his career, an empty netter to seal the Panthers’ fate.
Anthony Murphy is the Editor of The Rat Trick. You can follow me on Twitter @AMurphyTFC.