Panthers stun Wings ... again

Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Twice in four days, the Florida Panthers stunned the Detroit Red Wings.
"I bet if you talk to the guys over there (in the Red Wings' dressing room) they're probably pretty surprised," Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas said.
Who could blame them?
The Panthers, who are 14th out of 16 Eastern Conference teams with 25 points, rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Wings 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday night at the BB&T Center.
In the shootout for Detroit, right winger Daniel Aldredsson missed, left winger Tomas Tatar scored and right winger Gustav Nyquist missed.
For Florida in the shootout, center Aleksander Barkov scored with a stellar forehand-to-backhand move, center Jonathan Huberdeau missed and right winger Brad Boyes scored five-hole for the win.
Most of the talk in the Panthers' room after the game focused on Barkov's goal.
That's a really good move," Thomas said. "He's done it to me before in practice. He sells it so well. There's almost nothing you can do if you bite on it.
"It's nice when (our) shooters get two out of three goals. It makes your job as a goalie a lot easier."
Florida spoiled the return of Detroit center Pavel Datsyuk, who played for the first time since missing seven games due to a concussion. He had a goal and an assist Tuesday.
Datsyuk, however, was not chosen by Wings coach Mike Babcock for the shootout, surprising at least one Panthers player.
"That guy is the king of shootouts," Boyes said of Datsyuk.
Babcock said he "tried some different guys" on the shootout.
"We didn't get it done," he said. "We got one point. We came up one short."
Detroit, which entered Tuesday with a league-best 10-3-1 road record, is fourth in the Eastern Conference with 38 points.
Thomas (9-10-1) beat Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who entered Tuesday in a 1-4-4 slump in his past nine games. The Panthers also beat the Wings 2-1 Saturday in Detroit.
Florida, which had no power plays in the first period, was penalized three times in the opening 20 minutes. The first infraction was just 13 seconds into the game when winger Scottie Upshall was called for a face-off violation.
Florida killed that penalty, but Detroit struck on the next one, which was called on Barkov for tripping.
Detroit cashed in when center Johan Franzen sent a cross-ice pass to Datsyuk, whose slap shot was blocked by Thomas -- only to have right winger Todd Bertuzzi push home the rebound for his sixth goal of the season.
Earlier in the period, the Wings had an apparent goal by defenseman Jonathan Ericsson wiped out when right winger Daniel Cleary was called for goaltender interference.
Datsyuk made it 2-0 when he scored what has to be considered a superstitious goal, his 13th of the season, with 13:13 left in the second period. Ericsson faked a slap shot and shoveled a pass to Datsyuk, who was standing just to the left of Thomas, and got the puck in before he could adjust.
After that, though, very little went right for Detroit.
"I thought we skated pretty good and did lots of good things," Babcock said. "I don't know if we got cautious in the third -- it wasn't our intent."
With 15 minutes left in the third period, Florida finally got on the board on a tip-in by left winger Sean Bergeheim off a shot by defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. Bergenheim's third goal of the season cut Detroit's lead to 2-1.
Florida tied the score at 2 on center Nick Bjugstad's fifth goal of the season with 5:22 left in the third period. Defenseman Erik Gudbranson, working behind the Wings' net, left a pass behind him for Bjugstad, who roofed his shot past Howard.
"Huberdeau was holding someone off for me, so I had a wide-open shot to the net," Bjugstad said. "I missed quite a few shots tonight, so thankfully that one went in."
NOTES: The Red Wings won five of the seven games without C Pavel Datsyuk, who suffered a concussion when struck by an elbow from Ottawa's Jared Cowen. ... Detroit C Stephen Weiss, who spent nearly a decade with the Panthers, played his first game in the BB&T Center since leaving Florida. The Panthers played a video tribute to Weiss before the game. ... Detroit LW Henrik Zetterberg (herniated disc) did not make the road trip. ... Detroit C Darren Helm (sprained shoulder) made the trip but likely won't play until next week. ... Detroit scratched RW Mikael Samuelsson. ... Florida scratched RW Krys Barch, D Mike Mottau and C Scott Gomez. ... Next up for the Panthers is Friday's home game against Washington. After that, the Panthers are gone for 20 days while they play four road games. ... Next up for Detroit is a road game Thursday at Tampa Bay. After that, the Wings open a four-game homestand Saturday against Pittsburgh.

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