Florida Panthers drop second straight, fall to the Red Wings 4-2

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 05: Dylan Larkin
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 05: Dylan Larkin /

After last game was postponed due to severe weather, the Florida Panthers were heading into Detroit, searching for their first win of the road trip.

Net minders James Reimer and Jimmy Howard were starting in-goal for their respective sides. Only one goaltender and team however, would end up victorious. Which team would it be?

The game started off horribly for the Panthers, as they surrendered an early goal to the Detroit Red Wings. Forty-two seconds in the opening period, and forward Andreas Athanasiou opened up the scoring for Motor City.

The puck bounced straight to Ekblad on the Panthers blue line, when Aaron missed it with his stick, and away went Andreas the other way. Athanasiou would calmly slide the puck through Reimer’s pad and into the net. Like that, Detroit was up 1-0 on their divisional opponent.

But the Cats didn’t crumble from there, nor did they show signs of giving up. Instead, they took the play to Detroit, and fired everything towards Howard’s way. They were even gifted with a power play after Justin Abdelkader slashed Michael Matheson.

Howard saw and felt a lot of rubber during that Panthers power play, but managed to deny every attempt. Aleksander Barkov had two great scoring chances on Jimmy Howard during the man advantage, but also failed to cash in them. The Panthers fought hard that period, but would ultimately head to the dressing room a goal down.

Florida started off the second, the same way they finished the first, with high intensity. The Panthers were seen buzzing around the Red Wings zone, looking to even the game. Howard continued seeing pucks his way, but managed to deny them all.

However, all of that pressure didn’t matter, as the Wings would extend their lead to two. Both Denis Malgin and Aaron Ekblad were caught puck-watching behind the net, when Dylan Larkin sauced a pass between them, sending it to Athanasiou. Andreas then sent it over to Tatar, and the rest was history:

Seven – eight minutes later, and the Red Wings tripled their lead. Justin Abdelkader tipped a shot from the point, which went off his stick and hand, and straight up in the air. The puck then abruptly landed inside Reimer’s goal, and like that, the Wings were up by three.

But, the referees raced to video review, and deemed that the goal was scored from a high-stick. It appeared that Justin Abdelkader touched the puck with a high-stick, ruling the call on the play to be ‘no goal.’ The score remained 2-0 in favor for the Red Wings, and the Panthers got by with one there.

The Cats were struggling to find the back of the net in this match, but it was Michael Matheson who saved the day and scored with two seconds remaining in the second period. Matheson received a pass from Jared McCann, and pulled off a beautiful 360 spin on Mike Green, immediately rushing down the ice.

As Matheson was speeding down the ice, he deked around Jimmy Howard, and slotted the puck into the empty net:

Energized by Matheson’s late second period goal, the Cats came storming out to start the third. They were reward for their effort three minutes in, as Huberdeau and Barkov went down on a 2 on 1, where Barkov went on to score:

The Panthers unfortunately didn’t continue pressuring the Wings, as they got called twice for penalties. The first penalty was successfully killed, but the second one wasn’t. Anthony Mantha tipped Frk’s shot, and was credited for the goal. It only took Detroit five minutes to regain their lead.

From there, Florida started crumbling, and allowed a fourth goal. Seven minutes after Mantha’s goal, and Gustav Nyquist added the icing on the cake. Gustav’s goal came off a breakaway, where he sped down the ice, and slid in a backhander through Reimer’s five-hole.

The Red Wings would go on to add a fifth, but there empty net goal was ruled offside from the referees. Regardless though, Detroit would go on to win 4-2, beating their divisional opponents for the second time this season.

Next: Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov have been playing amongst the league’s best

Overall, the Florida Panthers played well in the first-two periods, but fell off later in the third. Defensive breakdowns were the cause for this loss, as well as lack of finishing around goal. Your Panthers are back in action on Sunday, November 7th @ 5:00pm against the Columbus Blue Jackets