The Florida Panthers were facing off against the Detroit Red Wings in their new venue for the first time. Would they come out victorious at Little Caesars?
The game started off well as both sides were looking to gain some ground on each other in the standings. Both the Red Wings and the Panthers were neck and neck with one another in the standings, before heading into this match. A win tonight would separate one from the other.
It didn’t take long for either sides to get going in this match, but neither one were able to break the bank and open up the scoring. Flurry of chances were occurring at both ends of the rink (mainly in Florida’s favor), but it was both net minders (Howard and Reimer) who would prevent either sides from breaking the deadlock.
Eventually, it was Detroit who wound find the back of the net first, with the goal coming with just under two minutes left in the opening frame.
The goal would send the Red Wings into the locker room up by one, after one. But after a dominant first period by the Panthers themselves, they would leave the opening period empty-handed with no goals to show.
The second period was just about the same as the first for the Cats, but the only difference was the less high scoring chances occurring for the Panthers in the slot. The Red Wings managed to monitor the Panthers’ top line closely, giving Barkov and Huberdeau little time and space to make things happen.
The score would remain like the first period, with the Red Wings heading into the dressing room up by a goal once again. The Panthers on the other hand were goalless in two periods, now having only twenty minutes to even up the game. Question was: could the Cats break the deadlock and tie the game?
The Panthers managed to tie the game during the halfway mark in the third, coming on the power play. Aleksander Barkov wasted no time finding Huberdeau in the crease, with Jonathan falling down and managing to find Trocheck on the door step. Vinnie quickly fired the puck into the open side of the net, tying the game at one a piece:
The goal was immediately reviewed afterwards from the referees, but was signaled a good goal shortly after. The Cats managed to get back in the game, and found a way to beat a stubborn Red Wings’ defense.
No goals would occur after the Trocheck goal, eventually signaling the end of the third period. The game’s winning goal would have to come in overtime, where both sides would battle it out at 3 on 3 style.
Fortunately enough, the Panthers ended up being the more dominant/powerful side in extra time, managing to find the game’s winning goal. The goal came from Michael Matheson, who darted down the ice on a partial break, crashing the net with a chance and creating a scoring opportunity from the play.
As soon as Michael was stopped by Howard initially, Nick Bjugstad pounced on the rebound, took the puck to his forehand and then quickly let a shot go. With the puck then hanging loose just outside of Howard’s crease, Matheson buried the loose puck home and won the game for the Cats in overtime:
Overall, the Florida Panthers stuck through on this one and capitalized on their chances when needed. More importantly, they didn’t break down when the Red Wings scored a softy. Your Panthers are back in action on Tuesday, December 12th @ 8:30pm against the Chicago Blackhawks.