Panthers-Red Wings Preview
The Detroit Red Wings fared much better in their second game
without Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
With Datsyuk potentially returning soon, the Red Wings try to
keep their momentum going during their set of back-to-back games
against the Florida Panthers that begins Saturday night at Joe
In its first game without its two stars, Detroit (15-8-7) blew a
two-goal lead Wednesday against Philadelphia and was denied a
season-high fifth straight win with a 6-3 loss.
The Red Wings gave up four goals in the final period of that
game but scored twice in that frame in a 3-1 victory in New Jersey
Johan Franzen’s tiebreaking goal with 7:20 remaining was his
third in as many games and extended his point streak to six
contests. Franzen has four goals and five assists during that run,
and Tomas Tatar has four goals and three assists in his last four
That’s helped make up for the absence of Datsyuk, who has missed
the past six games with a concussion-like symptoms. He has returned
to practice and may play in the next two games.
The Red Wings could use his help as he has five goals and eight
assists in his 10 career games against the Panthers
Zetterberg is expected to miss at least two weeks with his
herniated disc, and Darren Helm is expected to sit out Saturday’s
game because of a shoulder injury suffered in Wednesday’s loss.
“(The Red Wings have) to keep (winning). Tough without big guys
but it’s important to see we can win without them,” Franzen said.
“(It’s) big for us to see we can win without them.”
The Red Wings will try to follow Friday’s win by improving on
their recent 5-0-2 record against Florida. Detroit is 3-0-1 in the
past four home meetings with the Panthers.
Florida (8-16-5) heads into this game only ahead of last-place
Buffalo in the Atlantic Division and with a 2-4-1 record in its
last seven contests. The Panthers snapped a three-game skid with a
5-2 win over Winnipeg on Thursday, and Dylan Olsen’s first NHL goal
provided a much-needed spark.
Florida also scored the next two goals to take a comfortable 4-1
early in the third period, and its five tallies were its most since
a 6-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Oct. 11. Jimmy Hayes, acquired
from Chicago along with Olsen on Nov. 14, scored the game’s final
“They’re good young guys. They’re learning their trade,” coach
Peter Horachek said. “They both want to be pros. They want to be
The Panthers are among the NHL’s least effective on offense with
2.21 goals per game and are also near the bottom defensively with
3.21 goals allowed per contest. The Red Wings will try to take
advantage and avoid their 11th loss in 13 home games.
Florida is 3-9-2 on the road – tying it with Buffalo and the New
York Islanders for the fewest wins away from home – but had earned
back-to-back victories there before losing the past two.
Franzen had two goals and an assist in five lifetime matchups
against the Panthers, who will host the Red Wings on Tuesday after
visiting Chicago on Sunday.