The struggles continue for the Detroit Red Wings who fall to the Panthers

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The Detroit Red Wings were looking to get back on track Monday evening at home against the Florida Panthers.

Detroit was embarrassed on home ice this past Saturday, losing 5-1 to the Colorado Avalanche. Heading into Monday’s date with the Panthers, Detroit had dropped two in a row and is 2-7-1 over their last ten. On the other hand, Florida is fighting for a wild card spot are 7-2-1 over their past ten coming into Monday’s contest.

Unfortunately, things didn’t get much better for the Detroit Red Wings. Florida got off to a good start and didn’t look back. Matthew Tkachuk opened the scoring Monday night, scoring his 33rd goal of the season. The primary assist went to Sam Bennett, and the secondary should have gone to Lucas Raymond. Raymond tried to feather a weak backhander from the boards near the left circle up the middle. The pass attempt was promptly intercepted by Bennett, who found an open Tkachuk who beat a sprawling Ville Husso on the glove side.

The struggles continue for the Detroit Red Wings.

The Panthers would strike again five minutes thanks to a Carter Verhaeghe shot from the point that deflected off Andrew Copp‘s stick in front and went top shelf leaving Husso helpless on the play. Husso was trying to fight through the traffic in front and appeared to be lightly brushed by Sam Bennett moments before the goal. Head coach Derek Lalonde elected to challenge the goal, but the call on the ice would be confirmed. Detroit was given a minor penalty on the play for delay of game. If you were unaware, a team that unsuccessfully challenges a goal is now given a minor penalty. Tkachuk and Bennett assisted on the goal; it was Verhaeghe’s 35th goal of the season.

Game after game, we see Detroit’s opponents with multiple 30-plus goal scorers littered throughout their lineup. Dylan Larkin leads Detroit with 26 goals. Next in line is Dominik Kubalik, with 18; he’s followed by David Perron and Lucas Raymond, who each have 16. The Red Wings don’t have one 30-goal scorer and only maintain one 20-goal scorer.

The Detroit Red Wings would cut into Florida’s two-goal lead thanks to a heads-up play from Pius Suter. David Perron, who served the aforementioned delay of game penalty after the coach’s challenge, exited the box and made a nifty deke on netminder Sergei Bobrovsky but couldn’t quite finish. The puck squirted out in front of a sprawling Bobrovsky, and Suter, who was driving the net, cleaned it up. It’s Suter’s 13th goal of the season.

The lone goal in the second period went to Gustav Forsling, his 10th of the season. It was a point shot that beat Husso and one he’d likely want back. It seemed as though Husso saw the shot but could not track it. The shot beat Detroit’s starter on the glove side.

Detroit wouldn’t go away quietly. Dylan Larkin scored his 26th of the season from a tight angle to the left of Bobrovsky to make it a one-goal game midway through the third period. The goal came on a delayed penalty which Larkin drew moments earlier.

Lucas Raymond, who was up near the blue line on the opposite side of the ice, found Detroit’s captain, who had gestured for a pass by raising his stick. This time, Raymond made a superb pass to the correct team, and Larkin provided an excellent finish. Larkin has recorded three goals and seven points over his past six games and sits just four goals shy of completing the third 30-goal season of his career. Andrew Copp also got an assist on the goal, his 30th assist of the season.

The dagger from Florida would come at the 16:08 mark of the third period. Olli Maatta fumbled the puck in the offensive zone trying to go to the backhand, but Anthony Duclair poked it away. Duclair and veteran Eric Staal broke in on a 2-on-0, leaving Husso not much of a chance. Staal ended up the beneficiary scoring his 13th of the season, putting the Panthers up 4-2.

Florida would pile on thanks to Verhaeghe’s second of the night, this time on the power play. This game ended 5-2 Panthers. Florida outshot the Red Wings 25-22 in this one. The Panthers were 1-2 on the power play, while Detroit went 0-1. Florida also dominated the faceoff circle, winning 57.1% of the draws.

The Detroit Red Wings are now 30-30-9 on the season. Next up is a trip to St. Louis to take on the Blues Tuesday evening. The puck drop is set for 8 pm Est.

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