Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Game Recap | Detroit Red Wings: 4 - Florida Panthers: 5

The Detroit Red Wings took on the Florida Panthers tonight without their captain, Henrik Zetterberg, on the ice.

The first period started with Detroit in control of the puck, but in an instant the Panthers took advantage of Luke Glendening standing still on the Wings’ blue line and Sean Bergenheim was able to move into the zone past him with speed to put the puck past Jonas Gustavsson for the first goal of the game. After the first goal was scored the game became a snooze-fest; both teams had chances  to score, but they were few and far between.

The bore-fest continued into the second period, but a forced turnover by Johan Franzen caused a loose puck ripe for Gustav Nyquist‘s picking and it led to him putting the puck between Tim Thomas‘ legs in order to tie the game. The Wings were not done there though, Daniel Cleary won a face-off in the Panthers zone, after Darren Helm was waiver out, and Brian Lashoff pushed the puck over to Brendan Smith for a slap shot, which missed the net, but Daniel Alfredsson was there to make sure the puck made it to the back of the net.

With 3:30 left on the clock, in the second, Bergenheim received a penalty for tripping Brendan Smith and Riley Sheahan made the Panthers pay by sliding the puck between Thomas’ legs from in close.

In the third period was an exiting one. The Wings continued to apply pressure on the Panthers and it looked like they were going to pull ahead by three goals, but Brendan Smith’s goal was waved off due to Daniel Cleary impeding Tim Thomas. It was a terrible call since Cleary was tied up with a defenseman and outside of the crease.

Halfway though the period, the Panthers were able to cut the lead to one after battling for the puck in front of Gustavsson and somehow it bounced over Gus and into the net. And just after that goal the Panthers had another chance after a puck bounced of the top of Gus’ net and fell on the goal line before being cleared away by a Red Wing.

A few shifts after the clear, Riley Sheahan made a great move to protect the puck out in front of Tim Thomas before handing the puck of to his winger, Tomas Tatar, who roofed the puck over Thomas and into the net. Sadly, the two goal lead would not stand and the Florida Panthers skated down the ice only a minute later and a bounce off of a stick led to and open net goal for Drew Shore.

The lead was destroyed by a short-handed goal off the stick of Sean Bergenheim, who beat Gustavsson on the far-side post. The Red Wings have an aggressive power play and when you have an aggressive power play short-handed goals happen, but that is a time to be a bit more conservative.

Te game ended up going into overtime and despite a few chances for both sides and the best save of overtime was made by a Panther’s defenseman on an open net chance by Danny DeKeyser. In the shootout: Tatar, Alfredsson, and Eaves were denied; while Nick Bjugstad was able to deke out Gustavsson to give the Panthers a 5-4 victory in the shootout.

Now to the bullet points:

  • Johan Franzen was slotted into the number one center position with Zetterberg out and did a good job defensively to break up passes.
  • Gustav Nyquist’s goal seemed to come off his stick weird, almost like he missed his shot, but if you ask him he would probably say it was on propose now.
  • Daniel Cleary won two offensive zone face-offs for Detroit and one of them led to Alfredsson’s goal. Between a screen play against the Canadiens and the face-off wins tonight he is proving why he should not be a healthy scratch for the Wings.
  • Riley Sheahan made a spinning play down low by Thomas’ post, that is usually reserved for veterans like Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi, but he made it look easy and it was a great set-up play.
  • It will be a sad day when Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco are sent back down to Grand Rapids because the line of them and Tomas Tatar has been red-hot for Detroit.
  • The Red Wings had FIVE shots in the Third Period, with two of those shots coming in the last 30 second of the game. That is not acceptable.

The Red Wings will now head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers, Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.

I hope you guys enjoyed this recap of the Red Wings game against the Panthers. Take care and thanks for reading.

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