Anthony Mantha scored a tiebreaking goal on the power play with 11:57 remaining in the third period, leading the Detroit Red Wings past the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Friday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
With the victory, the Red Wings (17-16-7) extended their season-long winning streak to four games. The Panthers (17-18-5) lost their second in a row after a five-game winning streak ended against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
Mantha scored on the man-advantage after Panthers center Nick Bjugstad got whistled for high sticking. The winger redirected a Martin Frk bomb in front of the net for his team-leading 14th goal of the season.
With 4:38 to go in the third, Gustav Nyquist made it 4-2 with his 13th goal of the season. Henrik Zetterberg registered the 600th assist of his career on the play.
The Red Wings were up 2-0 before the Panthers knotted the score early in the third period. Michael Matheson began Florida’s comeback with a highlight-reel goal, spinning his way into the Wings’ zone and around two Detroit defenders to tuck one past Jimmy Howard with two seconds remaining in the second period.
Then, just over three minutes into the third, Aleksander Barkov scored his 12th of the season to tie it on a feed from Jonathan Huberdeau. Evgenii Dadonov also picked up an assist on the play.
Despite allowing two goals, Howard made 38 saves — his most in a game since turning away 44 shots in a shootout victory over the Panthers earlier this season.
Howard hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a game since Dec. 20 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
James Reimer was in net for the Panthers for the 13th consecutive game since Roberto Luongo went down with a lower-body injury. Reimer, who left the Panthers’ last game Tuesday in the second period with a neck injury, turned away 15 shots as his record dropped to 11-11-4.
Andreas Athanasiou got the scoring started early for Detroit, striking 42 seconds after the first puck drop. Mike Green flipped the puck from the Wings’ zone the way of Athanasiou, who got around Panthers defender Aaron Ekblad to beat Reimer on the backhand for his ninth goal of the season. The 23-year-old has four goals in his last four games.
Athanasiou played a part in the Wings’ second goal as well, dishing a feed from Dylan Larkin to Tomas Tatar, who had the net wide open for his 11th tally of the season. Larkin’s assist was his team-leading 28th.
The Panthers faced unusual circumstances leading up to the game as they weren’t able to travel from Boston to Detroit until Friday morning because of a blizzard that led to their Thursday matchup against the Bruins being postponed.
—Field Level Media