The Red Wings pushed their win streak to four games, despite blowing a two goal lead to the Panthers.
Todd Bertuzzi continued his recent success by scoring his 13th of the season at 1:21 of the first period. With Henrik Zetterberg streaking down the boards to Tomas Vokoun's left, Dennis Widemen went down to block a centering pass from Zetterberg but the pass snuck through to Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi had no trouble hitting the wide open net as Vokoun played the post a little too long. Brian Rafalski got the secondary assist on the goal.
The dynamite line of Jiri Hudler-Pavel Datsyuk-Dan Cleary continued to produce when Dan Cleary scored the second goal of the game and his 19th of the season at 6:29. Datsyuk found Cleary with a great outlet pass from the defensive zone as the Panthers were changing players. Cleary was in alone on Vokoun and put a shot on net. Vokoun stopped the first shot but Cleary scored on the rebound as he got tripped up by Bryan Allen. Vokoun was hit in the head by Allen's knee but shook it off after a few seconds.
See how the rest of the game played out after the jump.
Radek Dvorak got the Panthers on the board with a shot from along the boards that squeaked through Joey MacDonald's legs and just across the goal line to cut the lead in half. Niklas Kronwall couldn't handle a puck at the blueline of the Red Wings' offensive zone and Dvorak picked it up and hustled the other way. Kronwall had to try and hook him but it didn't matter as Dvorak's scored anyway.
Datsyuk added another one to his endless highlight reel early in the second period as he intercepted a pass from Kenndal McArdle in the offensive zone, kicked it up to his stick, deked-out Vokoun and beat him gloveside--all while Wideman was hooking him. It was Datsyuk's 5th goal and 9th point since returning from a broken hand.
The second period was not kind to the Red Wings and their fans as two scary injury incidents happened. First, Bryan Allen caught Darren Helm with a knee as he skated by and Helm had to be helped off the ice. Allen went to the box and Helm would return later in the period. Later in the period, Joey MacDonald would be shaken up during a collision with Jack Skille. MacDonald stayed down for a bit but later got up and shook off the collision.
Ruslan Salei would be sent to the box for slashing at 19:38 of the second period and the Panthers would go to the power play just before the period ended. They wasted no time on the power play, scoring off the face-off as Wideman hit one home from the blueline past MacDonald.
Stephen Weiss tied the game at 9:36 of the third period after Brad Stuart tried a no-look between the legs pass from along the boards that went past his intended target Kris Draper. Weiss powered a puck past MacDonald from the slot.
Bertuzzi wanted to follow up on his weekend against the Bruins by having yet another two-goal game. The Wings entered the Florida zone with the puck on the tape of Johan Franzen. Most of the players (both Panthers and Red Wings) headed to the net and Franzen put a pass across to Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi wound up and slammed a rocket of a shot off the far post past Vokoun and into the net for the eventual game winner.
:: Three points for discussion ::
- Jonathan Ericsson had another bad game with some dumb penalties and had some bad plays in the offensive zone. Is he reverting back to old Ericsson or is it just one game that won't matter?
- Which player is more dangerous right now, Todd Bertuzzi or Pavel Datsyuk?
- Four straight wins, but four straight against the Eastern Conference. What do you make of the wins?