December 29, 2019 / 3:08 AM / a month ago

Panthers rally from two goals down, beat Red Wings

Dominic Toninato scored the go-ahead goal in the second period as the host Florida Panthers rallied to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 on Saturday night at Sunrise, Fla.

Florida also got goals from Evgenii Dadonov, Brett Connolly, Mike Hoffman and Anton Stralman as the Panthers rallied from a 3-1 deficit. Hoffman added two assists.

Panthers goalie Chris Driedger, starting just his fourth NHL game, made 35 stops to improve to 3-1-0.

Detroit got goals from Darren Helm, Dylan Larkin, Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening, but the Wings still lost their fifth straight game and have lost 17 of their past 19.

Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, a 2019 All-Star who hasn’t won a game since Oct. 29, made 25 saves. It was his second game back after missing 10 consecutive contests due to a lower-body injury.

The Panthers were without two of their top four defensemen due to injuries: Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar. It was just the second game Ekblad has missed in the past three years.

Detroit also had two key injury absences: winger Anthony Mantha, third on the team in goals last season with 25; and No. 1 defenseman Danny DeKeyser.

Florida opened the scoring on a power play with just 2:46 gone in the first period. Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader was whistled for interfering on Stralman to set up the power play, and 31 seconds later, Dadonov’s one-timer from the slot whizzed over Howard’s glove.

Detroit tied the score with 9:29 expired in the first as the Wings took advantage of a turnover by Hoffman. Filip Zadina picked up the loose puck and sprung Helm for his breakaway goal, roofed just under the crossbar.

The Wings grabbed a 2-1 lead just 38 seconds later as Larkin took a centering pass from Andreas Athanasiou, stopped the puck with his right skate, and fired into the open right side of the net.

Detroit extended its lead to 3-1 just 46 seconds into the second period on Nielsen’s short-handed goal. It was his first goal of the season.

The rest of the period belonged to the Panthers, who scored three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead.

In less than five minutes, the Panthers got a power-play goal from Connolly, who scored on a long rebound in the high slot; a rebound goal from Hoffman, who followed a Brian Boyle shot that was stuffed; and Toninato’s go-ahead goal that was preceded by a brutal Detroit turnover deep in its zone.

While skating four aside, Stralman’s goal from the right circle with 6:26 left in the third gave Florida a 5-3.

With 4:53 left, Detroit pulled Howard for an extra attacker, resulting in Glendening’s rebound goal with 4:11 left. But Detroit was unable to get the tying goal.

—Field Level Media

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