The Detroit Red Wings attempted to snap an 0-4-and-2 streak opposite a Florida Panthers team that’s won 7 straight games in Detroit.
Florida made it 8 straight in Detroit and 9-0-and-1 over their last 10 vs. the Wings–with 4 more meetings between these teams on tap in February–via a 3-2 victory over a Red Wings team that was damn determined to rally from a 3-1 deficit. Detroit opened the scoring, gave up 3 straight goals (2 on the power play), and Detroit ulttimately was unable to rally completely.
The Wings got gutsy performances from an injured Larkin, a healthy Mantha, a big and ornery Givani Smith and Michael Rasmussen, Troy Stecher was excellent, Thomas Greiss was competent and strong in goal, and Detroit at least pissed off and distracted the Panthers at times due to their willingness to play a little dirty and work their tails off.
None of that resulted in a much-needed win for the 0-5-and-1-of-late Wings, but there was a sense of hope throughout this game that has been missing for half a month now. That counts for something in the “growth and learning” department.
Prior to the game, both teams’ lineups were in flux, and while Chris Driedger would start in goal for the Panthers, coach Joel Quenneville would not reveal any other lineup plans; the Red Wings recalled Givani Smith from the taxi squad and recalled Chase Pearson from Grand Rapids due to the injury to Tyler Bertuzzi (upper-body).
Fox Sports Detroit’s @JohnKeatingFSD reports that Tyler Bertuzzi is not taking the pre-game skate and that Dylan Larkin is a “little banged up” but taking the pre-game skate— George Malik (@georgemalik) January 31, 2021
So the Red Wings estimated their lineup…
As did MLive’s Ansar Khan:
#RedWings lines and D pairs vs. Panthers:
Bertuzzi out (upper body injury)
Bernier out (upper body injury) pic.twitter.com/svZrmwxrz8— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) January 31, 2021
No Bertuzzi (upper body) and Givani Smith takes his place in lineup; – Brome-Larkin-Ryan top line, with Mantha-Namestnikov-HIrose on second line, followed by Helm-Glendening-Rasmussen and Smith-Filppula-Nielsen #RedWings— Ted Kulfan (@tkulfan) January 31, 2021
Florida Panthers play-by-play commentator Steve Goldstein made his own estimation:
For those who need a refresher before the puck drops for #FlaPanthers and Detroit…— Jordan McPherson (@J_McPherson1126) January 31, 2021
Duclair- Barkov- Verhaeghe
Ultimately, the Red Wings and Panthers dressed the following rosters:
- The first period began at 5:08 PM EST.
Glendening drew in opposite Barkov and won the draw, but the Panthers chipped and chased, and Hronek and Helm had to flip the puck out of trouble.
As it turns out, Hronek set up Helm for a fine shot attempt, he was checked, and the Panthers took a penalty.
- Carter Verhaege sat for slashing at 28 seconds of the 1st period for hacking Helm as he shot the puck. That isn’t a penalty, honestly.
The Red Wings started Larkin, Hirose, Mantha, Ryan and Djoos, and Ryan jabbed the puck into Drieger a couple of times, with the Panthers’ defenseman Stralman jabbing the puck back into the goaltender for a whistle.
The power play continued, and Djoos, Mantha and Hirose worked the puck around the perimeter in triangle formation, doing a good job movement-wise, but Drieger didn’t have any screen in front of him, so the Panthers’ goaltender was able to stop the puck.
Dylan Larkin went down in pain at the end of his power play shift, which is not very good, after bumping Acciari…
Detroit’s second power play unit skated in and Brome, Rasmussen, Filppula, Hronek and Helm were unable to convert, and instead, surrendered a scoring chance as the penalty ended.
3-and-a-half minutes into the 1st, Detroit led in shots 3-0…
- And, off a turnover at center ice, Givani Smith swiped the puck from Owen Tippett, he fed Dylan Larkin, and Larkin deked, dangled and backhanded the puck past Driedger to score the Wings’ first goal.
- Detroit scored the 1-0 goal at 4:12. Larkin from Smith.
- Better, Keith Yandle took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the goal-scoring play, so Detroit headed right to the power play at 4:12.
Larkin, Ryan, Mantha, Djoos and Hirose worked the first unit, and they were mostly style over substance, despite a Larkin shot that nearly handcuffed Driedger.
The second unit of Rasmussen, Namestnikov, Filppula, Brome and Hronek got “more shit done,” shot-wise, but they were unable to sustain possession and control in the offensive zone.
The power play expired with Detroit leading in shots 7-0.
When play resumed after the first TV timeout, just over 7 minutes into the game, a Staal turnover nearly cost the Wings a tying goal, but Troy Stecher and Luke Glendening made strong plays to clear the puck.
Florida was using its superior speed to get in on the forecheck and force defensive turnovers–and skate up the wing and generate some shot attempts–but the Wings held their own, also menacing Driedger with successive Larkin shots.
10 minutes into the 1st period, Detroit led in shots 8-2, and Detroit slightly led in possession of the puck.
DeKeyser, Mantha, who hit the crossbar off a Driedger save, and the rest of the Red Wings looked engaged offensively, energetic about their play, and they were generally paying attention to their opponent.
- Anthony Duclair and Aleksandr Barkov generated the Panthers’ first power play at 11:41, with Staal going for hooking when he high-sticked Verhaege.
Florida came very close to scoring right off the hop, they continued to cycle the puck with impunity in the Wings’ zone, Keith Yandle was afforded long bombs from the blueline, Ekblad nearly beat Greiss, Detroit slowly but surely settled down its penalty-kill, and the Wings killed the penalty, if only barely.
Staal was also launched on a breakaway as he skated out of the penalty box, but he fumbled the puck.
14:30 into the first period, Detroit led in shots 10-3.
- Sadly, Dylan Larkin got tagged for hooking at 15:09, yielding a power play for the Panthers. His stick got tied up with Luostarinen.
Florida lost the first faceoff, got into the Wings’ zone again with some ease, Hornqvist was stopped by Greiss coming out of the cage, and Hornqvist got a second opportunity that he ripped wide of the net;
Detroit was worked fairly heavily by the Panthers’ mobile power play units, but Greiss, some luck, and some hard work afforded Detroit the penalty-kill.
Darren Helm tried to feed Nielsen with just over 1:30 left and surrendered a scoring chance instead, but Helm made up for it by generating a scoring chance of his own on Driedger.
In the final minute of the first period, Filppula nearly got a breakaway opportunity, Smith ground the Panthers down in their own zone, and the period concluded with Detroit up 13-6 in shots.
Individually, here are the stats after 1:
Alex Wennberg breaks down the 1st period with @JessBlaylock and talks the importance of staying out of the penalty box.
#FLAvsDET #FlaPanthers #OneTerritory #NHL
Watch @FlaPanthers 🏒:
📺: FOX Sports Florida
📱: https://t.co/peTTpbnbd0 pic.twitter.com/3w4f0J8JOf— FOX Sports Panthers (@FOXPanthers) January 31, 2021
Fox Sports Detroit had the scoring chances at 6-3 Detroit on their 13-6 shot advantage.
- The 2nd period began at 6:03 PM. Detroit led 1-0 going into a 2nd period in which both teams played at even strength.
Glendening’s line started again, opposite Barkov, and the Wings won the draw, chipped and chased, and Helm, Glendening and Rasmussen –> Rasmussen delivered a HARD HIT on Weegar, and Ekblad sort of went nuts at the sight of his teammate being smeared into the boards.
- Bizarrely, Rasmussen was given 5 minutes of a major penalty, upon review, at 25 seconds of the 2nd period. Florida was given 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct (to Ekblad), pending a review…
- Ultimately, Rasmussen got 2 and 2, and Ekblad got 2. No expulsion from the game for Rasmussen. Detroit had to kill a penalty.
Detroit was backed in almost immediately on the PK, with Glendening, Nielsen, Staal and Nemeth working together, and Florida moved the puck around the zone in superior fashion…
But Detroit hung in there, and Filppula, Namestnikov, DeKeyser and Stecher helped Greiss for another 30 seconds…
- And, as you might expect, Patrik Hornqvist was fed the puck by Huberdeau, DeKeyser tried to block the puck and he fed it right back to Hornqvist’s forehand, and Hornqvist jammed a shot past Greiss’ extended toe.
- Florida tied the game 1-1 at 2:03 of the 2nd period.
There’s Patric Hornqvist again doing HIS THING in front of the net! 🚨💪
1 #FLAvsDET 1 #FlaPanthers #OneTerritory #NHL
Watch @FlaPanthers 🏒:
📺: FOX Sports Florida
📱: https://t.co/peTTpbnbd0 pic.twitter.com/8NxhVXESSu— FOX Sports Panthers (@FOXPanthers) January 31, 2021
Mantha, Hirose and Namestnikov had a great post-goal shift, with DeKeyser ultimately fumbling the puck trying to set up a teammate from a down-low position, and the Glendening line followed that up with a good shift of their own.
Long story long, the Red Wings did not give up after being scored upon.
Greiss was also doing a hell of a job stifling the Panthers, and Hornqvist in particular, as the Panthers roared back to face a 13-10 shot deficit at 4:50 of the 2nd.
Greiss continued to stop Grade A scoring chances as the Panthers tied the shot clock 13-13 and took a lead…
Sadly, Markus Nutivaara got away with some hacks and hooks on Mathias Brome as Brome streaked in off a flip pass, trying to score his first NHL goal, and the second TV timeout hit.
Some 6:05 into the 2nd, Detroit was working with the ropes of a rope-a-dope style game, though the Wings were jamming the puck toward the net with gusto when they did have the opportunity to battle Florida’s traffic in front of their own net.
Brome missed an empty net as his struggles to score his first goal continued…
- Strangely, Darren Helm was high-sticked carelessly by Nutivaara, and he sat at 7:23 for that high sticking penalty.
Mantha, Ryan, Larkin, Djoos and Hirose generated several scoring chances, including a close call for a frustrated Bobby Ryan, a whip for Mantha, a chip shot for Larkin, and the Wings were unable to score…
The second unit of Hronek, Filppula, Namestnikov, Rasmussen and Stecher was unable to generate a single scoring opportunity.
9:39 into the 2nd period, the shots were 19-15 Detroit.
After a TV timeout just after the 10-minute mark, Florida’s Frank Vatrano ran Michael Rasmussen, but chose not to fight him.
The Panthers played with a burr under their saddles, which is a nice way of saying that the Panthers were grumpy and physical to an unnecessary extent.
12 minutes into the 2nd period, Detroit was slowly but surely being hemmed into their own zone, trading prime chances with the Panthers, and generally regressing.
- After Nutivaara hit the goalpost, and Yandle hip-checked Rasmussen, the Red Wings took the inevitable even-up penalty at 14:38. Darren Helm went for a weak slashing penalty.
Florida worked the triangle on the PP, with Ekblad, Yandle and Huberdeau cycling…
- And Yandle found Ekblad for a one-timer through Eric Staal’s stick, through Patrik Hornqvist’s screen and past Greiss’ glove.
- Florida took a 2-1 lead at 15:04.
Florida began to dominate play as the 2nd period wound down, at least in terms of possession and control–especially in terms of puck movement–and Detroit hung on as best they could.
Florida tried to score a 3-1 goal before the 2nd period expired, but they ran out of time.
Here are the individual stats for the Wings and Panthers after 2:
FSD had the scoring chances listed at 10-7 on the Panthers’ 23-22 shot advantage. Florida out-shot Detroit 18-9 in the 2nd period.
Aaron Ekblad talks with @JessBlaylock about putting Florida ahead in the 2nd with his one-timer blast.— FOX Sports Panthers (@FOXPanthers) January 31, 2021
#FLAvsDET #FlaPanthers #OneTerritory #NHL
Watch @FlaPanthers 🏒:
📺: FOX Sports Florida
📱: https://t.co/peTTpbnbd0 pic.twitter.com/g6EpQqOS8e
(The Wings aren’t even doing intermission interviews this season)
- The third period began with the Red Wings trailing 2-1, at 7:01 PM EST.
- Detroit faced both a deficit on the scoreboard and a deficit in the talent department, but the Wings could theoretically come back if their special teams got their collective heads out of their butts.
Rasmussen, Helm and Glendening started the 3rd, won the puck to Nemeth, and Rasmussen got a shot off that Driedger had to stop.
The Wings actually had a fairly good shift, despite surrendering a negated icing call.
Brome, Ryan and Filppula had a good shift together, forcing the Panthers to ice the puck…
DJOOS SENT THE PUCK TO NAMESTNIKOV VIA A SHOT and NAMESTNIKOV COULD NOT BEAT DRIEDGER 1, 2, 3 times!
Acciari hit Givani Smith fairly heavily some 2:22 into the period, and Hronek was targeted as well, repeatedly, so the Panthers were going for the Physical “W.”
By the 4-minte mark, Djoos had made another characteristic set of turnovers, but the Red Wings were hanging in there.
Greiss made a heavy stop on a heavy Ekblad shot some 5:45 into the 3rd, and the Red Wings continued to press back against the Panthers as they were able…and they at least forced the Panthers offside twice.
Radko Gudas also had a chat with Givani Smith before the first TV timeout of the period, and that was a little worrisome.
When play resumed, Trevor Thompson reported that Moritz Seider would be out for “quite some time” with his shoulder issue in Sweden…
And Mantha flipped a fly-by into Dreidger and slashed the Panthers’ goaltender on the way by, pissing off Ekblad.
- Sadly, the Panthers made it 3-1 on a delayed penalty call, with Carter Verhaege tipping an Aleksandr Barkov pass through Bobby Ryan and Patrik Nemeth, affording Florida a break-away-from-the-pack boost of momentum at 8:09.
CARTER IN FRONT!! pic.twitter.com/THgK7jSmow— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) February 1, 2021
- There was a delayed penalty on the play and Detroit backed in, giving Florida an easy 3-1 lead.
Detroit did continue to push for a 3-2 marker, but the Panthers were in relative control of the game, and Detroit was struggling with defensive mistakes that afforded Florida too much time and space in their offensive zone.
The good news?
- Givani Smith and Troy Stecher were having statement games.
- Thomas Greiss was valiant in defeat.
- The Wings were holding their own against a bigger, stronger team.
As the 15-minute mark passed, Bobby Ryan, Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin were working magic in the offensive zone, and Staal and Ryan found Larkin in the slot, but he fell as he tried to shoot…
The trio continued to grind, DeKeyser and Stecher helped as the Wings changed, and, with 4:25 left in the 3rd, Greiss asked to be pulled.
Hirose, Namestnikov and Helm had a really good shift, with Helm hitting hte GOALPOST with 3:36 remaining…
So Ryan, Mantha, Larkin, Rasmussen, Djoos and Hronek worked together.
Ryan got a good chance off, and Djoos found Driedger’s glove hand…
The Panthers worked the puck out of their zone on the next possession, hitting the goalpost, and the first unit left the ice tired and frustrated.
Filppula, Namestnikov, Brome, Hirose and Stecher worked the 2nd 6-man unit, and Barkov picked off a Givani Smith pass and iced it.
- With 1:57 remaining, the Red Wings won the faceoff, Hronek found Ryan down low, Weegar flumbled the puck and Mantha jammed the rebound in to make it 3-2 with 1:48 remaining in the 3rd.
Mantha makes it a 1 goal game late in the 3rd.
We’ve got the exciting finish to this one on FOX Sports Detroit.#LGRW pic.twitter.com/8uKG0FBUMS— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) February 1, 2021
- Mantha scored goals in consecutive games to make it 3-2 with 1:48 remaining.
Wings pull Greiss with 1:17 remaining, Larkin loses the puck, and the puck rolls back, and Djoos gets it before Huberdeau…Mantha found Djoos and he fired a hard shot on the net, and Frank Vatrano chose to ice the puck with 47.2 remaining…
With Mantha getting away with a high stick on Vatrano.
Larkin drew in, won the draw to Djoos, he and Mantha fired the puck on net, Hronek got the rebound, fired it on net, and the Panthers cleared.
Detroit chipped and chased, Florida chipped the puck back out,a nd the Wings ran out of time as Florida iced it with 4.3 remaining.
Patric Hornqvist talks with @JessBlaylock about how the @FlaPanthers fought to get control of the game.
#FLAvsDET #FlaPanthers #OneTerritory #NHL pic.twitter.com/d21qrVq7Nv— FOX Sports Panthers (@FOXPanthers) February 1, 2021
Mantha shot blocked, Florida wins 3-2 to go to 5-0-and-1, with Florida winning 8 straight and 9-0-and-1 over ten vs. Detroit per Ken Daniels.
Oof.— George Malik (@georgemalik) February 1, 2021