Panthers rally past Red Wings

Paul Harris, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- The Florida Panthers dominated the final two periods on Saturday night and reaped the rewards.
Center Jonathan Huberdeau's goal early in the third period broke a tie and gave Florida a 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena.
The Panthers trailed 1-0 after the first period but outshot the Red Wings 28-14 in the final two periods.
"When the other team scores the first goal, we usually struggle, kind of back on our heels," Huberdeau said. "But we were able to get the tying goal."
Right winger Jimmy Hayes also scored for Florida (9-16-5), which won its second consecutive game after three straight losses. Center Shawn Matthias had two assists and goaltender Tim Thomas, who is from Flint, Mich., stopped 22 shots.
"This is one of the toughest buildings to play in. We wanted to play with energy. They had to play last night (a 3-1 win in New Jersey)," Panthers coach Peter Horachek said. "We just wanted to work both ends of the rink."
Right winger Daniel Cleary scored for Detroit (15-9-7), which is only 5-6-6 at home. Backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson, making his second consecutive start, had 35 saves. It was his first regulation loss of the season (8-1-1).
The Red Wings had two power-play opportunities to tie the score in the final 10 minutes but came up empty.
"I thought it was lack of energy for sure. You try to fight through it the best you possibly can," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We had a game last night, they sat in our building, hung out and waited for us. There's no excuse for anything. You got to find ways to win games."
Defenseman Niklas Kronwall talked about his team's struggles at Joe Louis Arena.
"We have to find a way, just with the lineup that we have right now, we have to play more simple than we did tonight," he said. "We made way too many mistakes. We were watching the other guys play hockey, way too much room out there. We didn't execute coming out of our own zone and that's where everything starts."
Huberdeau gave Florida the lead 3:29 into the third period. Left wide open in front of Gustavsson, Huberdeau put in a backhand shot after making a move for his seventh goal.
Detroit defenseman Brian Lashoff went to the locker room after getting hit with a shot in the groin area early in the third period. He returned laters in the period.
Hayes tied it at 1, 2:59 into the second period with his third goal. Gustavsson appeared to have Matthias' shot smothered. But it dropped under one of his pads and Hayes poked it in for his second goal in two games.
Hayes also hit the crossbar with a backhand shot from the slot with less than three minutes left in the second.
Cleary opened the scoring 4:06 into the game with his first goal in 24 games. He put in the rebound of left winger Justin Abdelkader's shot for Cleary's second goal of the season.
After each team had nine shots on goal in the first period, the Panthers dominated the second by outshooting the Red Wings 17-5.
"Our game plan was just to play hard and we refocused during the game," Hayes said.
Kronwall had no doubts what happened to Detroit after the first period.
"We stopped skating. I don't think it has anything to do with the energy. I don't know what it is," he said. "We have to be a lot more desperate and determined than that. We stopped skating and started watching hockey instead of playing."
NOTES: Detroit C Stephen Weiss played his first game against his former team. Weiss signed a five-year, $25 million free agent contract with the Red Wings in July. ... Detroit remained without both C Pavel Datsyuk (concussion) and C and captain Henrik Zetterberg (herniated disc). The Red Wings said Datsyuk will return on Tuesday when the two teams play in Florida. ... Panthers G Tim Thomas is from Flint, Mich., which is about 60 miles north of Detroit. ... The Red Wings were also without C Darren Helm, who missed his second game with a shoulder injury. ... Florida RW Tomas Kopecky formerly played for Detroit.

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