The Detroit Red Wings extended their mini-winning streak to four games as they defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Friday night. The streak began with a shootout win against the New York Rangers on December 29th.
With the win, Detroit moved past Florida for fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 41 points, 9 points behind third place Toronto (50 points with two games-in-hand) and 5 points behind Carolina for the second wild card position.
Despite 21 giveaways and a 40-19 shot differential in Florida’s favor, the Wings managed to out-skill their opponent.
Andreas Athanasiou, after scoring twice in the previous game, led the scoring off only 42 seconds into the first period. Mike Green had the only assist on the play. Double-A had a number of prime scoring opportunities in the first period.
Tomas Tatar scored first in the second period, set up by Athanasiou and Dylan Larkin.
Later, it appeared forward Justin Abdelkader made it 3-0, after a puck redirected skyward from either his glove or stick, and up and over Panthers netminder James Reimer. After a very lengthy review, it was determined that the puck had hit the stick close to his glove while it was raised. Therefore it was deemed high-sticking and no goal.
The no-goal would negatively impact Detroit. Poised to enter the second intermission up by two, Florida’s Mike Matheson scored a highlight reel goal with two seconds remaining. Receiving a long pass from Jared McCann, he quickly spun to face the right direction, before beating the Red Wings defender and using his reach to push the puck past goalie Jimmy Howard.
The Cats tied it in the first few minutes of the third as Jonathan Huberdeau perfectly set up Aleksander Barkov for a wrist shot goal.
Past the midway mark, Martin Frk blasted a power play shot, with the shot redirecting off Anthony Mantha’s stick and past Reimer.
Gustav Nyquist made it 4-2 late in the third. After a defensive faceoff win to the right of Howard, Henrik Zetterberg backhanded a nearly three-line pass to the awaiting Nyquist. He then backhanded the puck through the five-hole. It was the captain’s 600th career assist.
It appeared that Frans Nielsen had added an empty net goal with just over a dozen seconds left on the clock. However, the play was offside and it was overturned after a review (the second disallowed review).
4-2 was the final score.
A Look Ahead
Detroit faces Tampa Bay on Sunday (7:00 ET) before receiving the better part of a week off before traveling to Pittsburgh on Saturday (1:00) and Chicago on Sunday (12:30, NBC).