December 22, 2018 / 10:14 PM / in a month

Luongo, Panthers hold off Red Wings

Roberto Luongo made 33 saves and the Florida Panthers scored two first-period goals and held on for a 2-1 victory over the host Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Mike Hoffman scored a power-play goal and Evgenii Dadonov talled his 17th goal this season for the Panthers.

Thomas Vanek scored an unassisted goal for the Wings, while Jimmy Howard made 21 saves.

The Panthers have won three of their last four games following a four-game slide. The Wings have lost five of their last six.

Detroit ranks last on the penalty kill at home, and that issue cropped up again in the early going. With rookie Dennis Cholowski in the box for holding, Hoffman scored his 16th goal of the season.

Jonathan Huberdeau passed the puck from behind the net and Hoffman one-timed it from the left circle. Aleksander Barkov added an assist on the play.

Dadonov made it 2-0 when he lifted a shot just over the left leg of a sprawled Howard. Barkov set up Dadonov with a pass from the edge of the right circle. Huberdeau also was credited with an assist.

Vanek scored at the midway mark of the second period to cut Florida’s lead to 2-1. He picked up a loose puck from behind the Panthers goal, wrapped around and banged it off the far post and into the net.

Luongo made tough saves against Dylan Larkin and Filip Hronek midway through the third to preserve Florida’s lead. Larkin and Hronek repeatedly were frustrated by the Panthers’ netminder, as each took five shots.

Luongo caught a Frans Nielsen slapshot with 4:30 remaining.

Florida’s Aaron Ekblad hit the post with 1:34 left to keep the Wings’ hopes alive. Luongo stopped a Niklas Kronwall blast from the point with less than 10 seconds remaining to secure the win.

The teams had not met since Oct. 20, when the Wings came away with a 4-3 overtime victory.

Florida was credited with 21 hits, compared to 11 for Detroit. The Panthers also won the faceoff battle, 32-29.

—Field Level Media

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