Detroit Red Wings rally to force OT, but fall to unbeaten Florida Panthers, 3-2

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings got a huge goal from a newcomer as they fought back from another deficit, cheered on by a lively Friday night crowd.

Their contest against the Florida Panthers at Little Caesars Arena was a short respite at home before they head to Toronto on Saturday. The Wings fell behind by a pair of goals, just as in their previous game, but a goal from Pius Suter with 2:41 to play in regulation set up overtime.

They came up just short, falling 3-2 in overtime when Aleksander Barkov scored his second of the night to keep the Panthers undefeated.

Still, it was another demonstration that these Wings (4-2-2) are not like the Wings of the past two seasons.

It was a lively and Halloween-costumed crowd that cheered as the Wings kept pressing for a tie. The Panthers had possession late in the game and Adam Erne appeared to be in pain after blocking a shot, but he got up and helped defend.

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Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky frustrated the Wings until early in the second period, when Sam Gagner finally dented the net.

The Wings’ fourth power play came with 12 minutes to go in the third period. Seider made a heads-up play to keep the puck in the zone, and Lucas Raymond got the puck to Dylan Larkin, but his shot was blocked. Filip Hronek took a penalty that nullified the man advantage after 1:34.

Early deficit

Eetu Luostarinen scored at 8:43 of the first period, redirecting Markus Nutivaara’s shot behind Alex Nedeljkovic off a draw. The second goal was tougher to swallow. The Wings had a chance to gain momentum but squandered a power play; Larkin made an errant pass that the Panthers easily picked off. Back at even strength, Barkov had the puck in Detroit’s zone and fed it to Anthony Duclair. Duclair drove to the net, and was past the goal line when he flicked the puck towards the paint. Barkov grabbed the loose puck and jammed it behind Nedeljkovic with 1:11 to go in the first period.

Panthers’ first game without Quenneville

Florida head coach Joel Quenneville resigned Thursday, a day after coaching the Panthers to a 7-0-0 start. Quenneville was among the Chicago Blackhawks’ senior leadership group that failed Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach after he reported being sexually assaulted by a video coach in the organization during the 2010 playoffs. Andrew Brunette was promoted to interim head coach.

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Back on the road

The Wings left for Toronto after Friday’s game. Saturday has them taking on the Maple Leafs, who just won for the first time in five games earlier this week. The Leafs’ 3-4-1 start is far below expectations. The Wings are likely to face a familiar face, as goaltender Petr Mrazek is expected to get the start. He has missed six games with a groin injury. After Toronto, the Wings visit Montreal on Tuesday, Boston on Thursday, and then Buffalo on Nov. 6 before returning home to host Vegas on Nov. 7.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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