Recap: Panthers @ Red Wings, 11/29/15

Final 1st 2nd 3rd OT Total
Panthers (10-9-4) 0 0 1 1 2
@ Red Wings (12-8-4)  0  1 0 0 1

First Period

This game certainly had an explosive start. Just 28 seconds into the game, Reilly Smith jammed the puck into the net to score, or so we thought. The goal was ruled offside after review, but there was also possible goalie interference because Jonathan Huberdeau was pushed into Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek. Nonetheless, Gerard Gallant challenged the call but he was unsuccessful in doing so and the game remained scoreless. This botched call gave the Panthers the fire they needed to put more pressure on Mrazek, as well as Detroit’s defense. After nearly seven minutes of play, Reilly Smith drew a holding penalty that went to Mike Green. Brandon Pirri broke his stick on a one-timer but that was the only real scoring chance the Panthers had on their power play. Jonathan Huberdeau hit Mike Green and was called for interference, but Mike Green got the embellishment call on the play and as a result, there would seem to be two minutes of 4-on-4 play. However, this did not end up being the case as Aleksander Barkov was called for holding about halfway through the 4-on-4, yielding a 4-on-3. Detroit dominated the power play but Willie Mitchell and Jussi Jokinen were able to put in enough work to keep the puck out of the net. Some action-packed moves in the final minutes of the period kept the game interesting and physical. At the end of the period, the score was 0-0. Detroit just edged out Florida in shots on goal 10-9. The Panthers played well this period but it seems like they played the frame in two halves. The first half of the period was played extremely offensively and the second half was played extremely defensively. A happy medium should ensure the Panthers a win at the Joe Louis Arena.

Second Period

The second period also began with a notable event: a Tomas Jurco tripping penalty 27 seconds in. The Panthers had an abundance of power play opportunities but were not able to capitalize on any of them. The Panthers were, however, playing both defensively and offensively in the first half of the period. One little slip up changed all of that though. Dylan Larkin found a breakaway opportunity and slipped the puck right past Luongo to give Detroit the lead. A bit of hope shined through for the Panthers right after Larkin’s goal as Mike Green got his third penalty of the game, this time for hooking. The Panthers had a 5-on-3 opportunity as Darren Helm was sent to the sin bin for tripping. The Cats did not shoot nearly enough and for that reason, both penalties were killed. The Panthers did shoot the puck much more than the Red Wings, but the Wings shot when it mattered. Brian Campbell got a tripping penalty with 5 minutes left and the Panthers had another penalty to kill. A Jussi Jokinen/Tomas Tatar scrum led to a full-out brawl along the boards that included Justin Abdelkader and Erik Gudbranson. All four of them were sent to the box in the incident, but 5-on-4 play continued. The Campbell penalty was killed and even strength play resumed but for some reason, the Panthers just could not score. At the end of the period, the Wings led the Cats 1-0, even though the Panthers had 22 shots on goal to the Red Wings’ 15. The Panthers outplayed the Red Wings in this period as well but the Wings were simply luckier. To lessen the effects of this luck, the Panthers simply need to shoot a lot more.

Third Period

Unlike the first two periods, there was no notable event that began the final frame. There was a lot of back and forth until 15:44 into the period, where Darren Helm got a high sticking penalty. Once again, the Panthers just could not shoot. In fact, they didn’t even get one shot on goal during the power play. Then, it was the Panthers’ turn for a penalty. Logan Shaw was penalized for tripping. The Panthers were fairly disciplined on Friday against the Islanders but tonight, both teams were taking penalties left and right. Just as the penalty was killed, Nick Bjugstad, you guessed it, got a hooking penalty. Gerard Gallant is not very happy right now. Interestingly enough, the Panthers had more shorthanded chances during this penalty kill than they had during some of their own man advantages. It would be around this time that the Panthers might want to utilize their time out but of course, that was stripped away from them with the Coaches Challenge defeat. Things were looking bleak for the Panthers until Reilly Smith redirected an Ekblad shot to score. Brian Campbell got the only assist on the goal. At the end of the period, the score was tied at 1, forcing overtime. The Panthers had 31 shots on goal and the Red Wings had 28. The Panthers must be careful during overtime because the Wings are a very offensive team and have not gone to a shootout in all  eight of their overtime games.

Overtime

Two words for you: Brian Campbell. He scored early into the overtime period due to a lofty Red Wings line change. The goal was assisted by Jonathan Huberdeau and Jussi Jokinen and that was all it took for the Panthers to take away a win in Detroit.

Who’s Hot?

Brandon Pirri did not score in this game, but he definitely had the best chance of doing so. His snipes were essentially the only power play shots the Panthers had. Pirri had 8 shots on goal in the match. Roberto Luongo also had a great night, saving every shot but one. Reilly Smith worked extremely hard throughout the whole game and that hard work certainly paid off. After his first period goal was disallowed, Smith was finally rewarded for his hard work when he tied up the game in the third. Then, who could forget Brian Campbell with the game winning goal? He also assisted Smith’s game-tying goal. Overall, the Panthers have been doing a great job on the comeback but need to focus on doing well early too.

Next Game

The Florida Panthers will continue their road trip on Tuesday, December 1st at 8:00pm ET against the St. Louis Blues. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.

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