Short-handed Panthers grind out OT win, series sweep over visiting Red Wings
SUNRISE. Fla.- (AP) — Alex Wennberg scored 1:25 into overtime and the Florida Panthers beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Thursday night.
Frank Vatrano had a goal and an assist and Noel Acciari also scored for the Panthers. in their fourth straight win. Chris Driedger made 25 saves. Carter Verhaeghe had two assists.
“It’s been a very important stretch for us,” Florida coach Joel Quenneville said. “I liked how we competed in the games. We’re sticking with it. Games have been close for the most part. Tonight, coming back in the third period in a hard game. They worked hard and finding ways to stay with it.”
Anthony Mantha and Adam Erne scored for the Red Wings, who have lost six straight on the road. Thomas Greiss stopped 33 shots and Patrik Nemeth had two assists.
Wennberg got the winner from the right circle at 1:25 of overtime.
“I think it shows a lot of character from the team right here,” Wennberg said. “Obviously, it’s not always going to be pretty and it’s not always going to go our way, but we somehow keep working and keep doing our part and we get rewarded. It’s a huge two points.”
Mantha gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead when he skated in and beat Driedger stick side with 13:53 left in the third.
Vatrano tied the game at 2 just 6 seconds into a power-play with 9:21 left in the third. Of Vatrano’s 11 goals this season, eight have come in the third period or overtime.
“That’s just the way they’re going in for me right now,” Vatrano said. “It’s good to get that goal to tie that game up, a good play all around.”
Acciari’s goal tied the score 1-all when he swept in a rebound of a shot from Verhaeghe that bounced to Acciari in the crease with 8:05 left in the first.
Erne put the Red Wings ahead 1-0 when he tipped in a shot by Troy Stetcher at 4:21 of the first.
The Red Wings were hoping to bounce back after they lost to the Panthers 4-1 on Tuesday night.
“We played better defensively,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “The goal in the first was a massive breakdown, the goal against and the breakaway. Other than that, we stayed above them.”
Greiss played well for the second consecutive game after coming in during the first period of Tuesday’s game with the Red Wings down 3-0.
“Greiss worked hard and we came out on the wrong end of it,” Red Wings co-captain Luke Glendenning said. “Greiss kept us in it and gave us a chance.”
Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau skated off the ice gingerly at the end of the second period after taking a hit but returned in the third period.
Panthers: Anthony Duclair: day to day (upper body), Noah Juulsen: out (undisclosed), Patric Hornqvist: out (undisclosed), Aleksander Barkov Jr.: day to day (lower body).
Red Wings: Jonathan Bernier: day to day (lower body), Bobby Ryan: day to day (upper body), Marc Staal: day to day (upper body).
The Panthers limit attendance to 25% capacity. Thursday’s crowd was 4,359.
Red Wings: At Tampa Bay on Saturday.
Panthers: Host Columbus on Saturday.