|Red Wings (25-18-8)||1||1||1||3|
|@ Panthers (31-15-5)||3||1||2||6|
Both teams were all over the ice in the first five minutes of play and both teams also made very physical moves. Jonathan Huberdeau in particular demolished Justin Abdelkader. The two got roughing penalties, but Huberdeau got an extra penalty for hooking on the play. Roberto Luongo was red hot in the penalty kill and was able to keep up with the multitude of shots Detroit had. The next few minutes were full of hits galore. Ekblad and Gudbranson were the main perpetrators. Both teams were speeding down the ice and shooting without thinking very much about it. Maybe this is just what the Panthers needed. Alex Petrovic hit a slapper right after receiving the puck and it must have caught Jimmy Howard off guard because it went in. Brandon Pirri deflected the puck in. The goal was assisted by Petrovic and Jagr. Then, after holding the stick, Danny DeKeyser gave the Panthers a power play. Prime offender Aleksander Barkov capitalized on the opportunity and scored a goal that Howard had no chance of saving. Reilly Smith and Aaron Ekblad assisted the goal.
Vincent Trocheck scored just 25 seconds later to give the Panthers the three goal lead. This goal was assisted by Jaromir Jagr. After this, there would be some 4-on-4 play. Mike Green was penalized for holding and Brandon Pirri was penalized for roughing. Those penalties were killed with a little help from Luongo but Vincent Trocheck was called for hooking right after. The Panthers killed yet another penalty in what has been quite an impressive stint. Of course, it didn’t end there. As soon as Trocheck left the box, Jaromir Jagr was penalized on a slashing call. Luongo couldn’t save them all and with just 6 seconds left, Dylan Larkin capitalized on the opportunity. The Panthers ended the period 3-1 but the Red Wings held the edge in shots on goal 18-13. One thing’s for sure: this period was anything but boring. The Panthers took full advantage of the shots they had and were able to keep up with the tough and offensive Red Wings. The Panthers should try to keep the penalties at a minimum, though, because it will continue to be an issue for them. With all that being said, the Cats should get their fifth win in a row if they keep up the good work.
The Panthers and their fans may have been a bit too confident in their lead. Dylan Larkin scored on a breakaway just one minute in to put the Wings within one goal. Thankfully, the Panthers would have the chance to widen their lead soon after because Brendan Smith was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking. The Cats had some decent opportunities but were nonetheless unable to score. The Red Wings seemed to be making as many mistakes as the Panthers were, evidenced by their too-many-men penalty with 12:30 left in the period. In a series of events in which the Panthers had a wide open net, the Red Wings were still able to kill the penalty. The Red Wings seemed to be making a comeback, but Derek MacKenzie caught a great pass from Brandon Pirri and was able to tuck the puck behind Howard. The call was challenged by Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill but the goal stood. Corban Knight was awarded the secondary assist. With less than two minutes left in the frame, Jaromir Jagr got a double minor for high sticking that would carry over into the third. At the end of the period, the Panthers led 4-2 but continued to trail in shots on goal 27-23. This period was a lot slower than the first, which should have benefitted the Panthers but alas, it did not. They did not perform nearly as well as they had before and it is going to make this a very tough third period. If not for the MacKenzie goal, I would suspect a definite Detroit comeback in the third. Hopefully the Cats can still turn their game on
The Jaromir Jagr penalty was killed early on and replaced by a Tomas Tatar hooking call that would put the Panthers on the advantage. Jaromir Jagr, the most disciplined man in the universe, scored right after serving his penalty to put the Panthers up by three goals. Vincent Trocheck and Jussi Jokinen assisted the goal. The next few minutes were fairly uneventful, which I could not have imagined saying in the first period. Then, with just less than half the period left, Jonathan Huberdeau was penalized for delay of game and the Wings started to pick up the pace again. Meanwhile, Jimmy Howard headed to the bench to allow for a 6-on-4. They were able to capitalize on this and Mike Green put the Wings within two again. After this goal, the Red Wings decided to try their luck once again with pulling Howard. This time, it didn’t exactly work in their favor. Vincent Trocheck was able to score a goal on the empty net, assisted by Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen. When the Panthers were called for too many men on the ice, the Wings tried to step up their game but it appeared to be too late. The penalty was killed and the Panthers won their fifth straight game.
Alex Petrovic benefitted from shooting the puck as soon as he got it and a Pirri deflection did the trick, giving the Panthers an early lead. Aleksander Barkov also scored in the first period and unsurprisingly, it was an incredible goal. Vincent Trocheck gave the Panthers their ever-so-coveted third goal. He also assisted the Jaromir Jagr goal and scored on the empty net late in the third. Jagr got his 1,100 career assist on the Pirri goal but decided that wasn’t enough and set up the Trocheck goal as well. Oh yeah, and he also scored that goal of his own on the power play early in the third. In addition to tipping in the first goal, Brandon Pirri was also primarily responsible for the important MacKenzie goal late in the second. Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen each assisted two goals in the victory. Roberto Luongo recorded his ninth straight road win in a valiant effort.
The Panthers will continue their home stand on Saturday, February 6th at 7:00 pm ET against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.