Wings look to avenge earlier loss to Panthers
The only time the Detroit Red Wings failed to earn at least one point in their last nine games was during a visit from the Florida Panthers earlier this month.
The Red Wings seek to avenge that defeat and end a three-game home losing streak to the Panthers on Friday night when they return to Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m. pregame, 7:30 face-off on FOX Sports Detroit).
Detroit (17-6-6) is 7-1-1 in its last nine games, with the lone regulation loss coming Dec. 2. The Red Wings' attempted rally from a three-goal deficit in the third period fell short in a 4-3 defeat.
Gustav Nyquist scored the game's final goal with 59 seconds left. The loss is also one of just three regulation defeats this season at Joe Louis, where the Red Wings are 11-3-3, and their only one in the last seven games there.
Detroit was denied a third consecutive home win Wednesday and its fourth in a row overall despite outshooting Toronto 40-16 in regulation. The Maple Leafs scored on two shootout attempts against Jimmy Howard in a 2-1 victory.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was pleased with his team's effort despite the result.
"We got a point. They stole two points, but I'll take it every night," he said. "If you play like that, you're going to win."
Florida (11-8-7) is 1-1-1 since its visit to Detroit and gave up the tiebreaking goal with 1:54 remaining in a 4-2 loss in St. Louis on Monday. The Panthers rallied from a two-goal, first-period deficit, and Aaron Ekblad had the tying goal with 5:06 left.
"Tough way to lose," goaltender Roberto Luongo told the team's official website. "We battled back and carried most of the play. Heartbreaker to lose like that. Obviously, the first (period) was unacceptable. We weren't happy with the way we played. We showed some character the way we came back against a tough team in a tough building."
Ekblad has three goals and four assists in a five-game point streak to open this month. The No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft scored a goal in his first visit to Joe Louis, which is just across the Detroit River from his hometown of Windsor, Ontario.
Vincent Trocheck had a career-high three points in the victory with one goal and two assists, but hasn't registered any points in the past three games.
Nick Bjugstad, meanwhile, scored his fourth goal in three games Monday and has two assists in that stretch. He doesn't have a point in his last three matchups with Detroit.
Nyquist will try to extend a four-game goal scoring streak against the Panthers while leading the Red Wings to their first home win in the series since April 1, 2012. The teams have split their last four overall matchups.
Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist in the latest meeting, and has seven goals and 12 assists in 14 career matchups. He has seven goals and four assists in his eight games since returning from a groin injury but hasn't been able to re-ignite Detroit's power play.
The Red Wings are 0 for 10 in their last three games after converting at 32.8 percent (19 for 58) in the previous 14. They have killed off 15 power plays in the past three contests and face a Panthers team 2 for 21 with a man advantage in its last nine games.
Florida has also been effectively killing penalties, allowing just one goal in the past 25 times it has been short-handed.