Boyes, Thomas lead Panthers past Red Wings in shootout
Brad Boyes’ return to the lineup proved timely for the Florida Panthers.
Boyes scored the winning goal in a shootout to lift the Panthers over the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Aleksander Barkov also scored in the tiebreaker for Florida, which has won three of four overall and two in a row against the Red Wings.
Boyes is 4 of 5 in shootouts this season and has 35 career shootout goals, the most among active players. He returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch Sunday in a 6-2 loss at Chicago.
"It’s a good win. It’s good to contribute, whichever way I can," Boyes said. "If shootout is the way to do it, I’m happy with that."
Tomas Tatar scored for Detroit in the shootout but Tim Thomas stopped shots by Daniel Alfredsson and Gustav Nyquist.
Nick Bjugstad and Sean Bergenheim had the goals in regulation for Florida. Thomas made 24 saves.
The Panthers also won 2-1 on Saturday in Detroit.
"Beating them twice in a short period is pretty nice," Bjugstad said. "They’ve got a lot of good players, a lot of experienced players. So I think it says a lot about the guys in the locker room."
Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi scored for the Red Wings. Jimmy Howard made 25 saves and Johan Franzen had two assists.
Detroit lost for the sixth time this season when leading after two periods. The Red Wings are 0-5 in shootouts.
"I tried some different guys. We didn’t get it done," coach Mike Babcock said. "We got one point, we wanted two; we came up one short."
Florida scored twice in the third to tie the game.
Bjugstad evened it at 2 when he put the puck over Howard’s shoulder with 5:22 left in regulation. The Panthers cut it to 2-1 on a goal by Bergenheim exactly 5 minutes into the period. Dmitry Kulikov bounced a shot from the point that Bergenheim touched on the way to the net.
"All it comes down to is, we needed to go in the third period and score early, get the momentum," Panthers coach Peter Horachek said. "It’s about winning 60 minutes, it’s not about winning the first or the second."
The Red Wings took a 2-0 lead in the second on Datsyuk’s goal. Franzen slid a soft pass to Datsyuk to the left of the crease and he one-timed it into the net at 6:47. Franzen has 12 points in his last 10 games.
Datsyuk returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a concussion sustained Nov. 23 against Ottawa. He has six goals and nine assists in 11 career games against the Panthers.
"You’re up two goals on the road, you’re in a good situation, and being up two, after two, we would have taken that," Howard said. "But we’ve got to either find a way to score the next one or have the ability to shut them down."
The Red Wings went ahead 1-0 on a power-play goal by Bertuzzi in the first. Franzen’s shot from the left point was tipped by Datsyuk and blocked by Thomas before Bertuzzi poked in the rebound at 10:26.
The Red Wings had a goal disallowed early in the first due to goaltender interference. Jonathan Ericsson’s slap shot from the left point found the corner of the net, but it was ruled that Daniel Cleary interfered.
"That was a big win. Down 2-0 going into the third period, to come back like that, it’s a great thing," Thomas said.
NOTES: Red Wings C Stephen Weiss returned to Florida for the first time since he signed a five-year deal with Detroit in July. Weiss spent 11 years with the Panthers from 2002-2013.