After a less than optimal effort against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Detroit Red Wings wandered around the State of Florida looking for a revenge game to play. Upon getting to Sunrise, the team found another opponent in the Florida Panthers, who have surprised many in the Atlantic Division with the success of their “Daycare Meets Retirement Home” roster setup. Unfortunately for them, their struggles continued, as the Panthers made quick work of them to the tune of a 6-3 loss.
The first period was one full of offensive opportunity, as the two teams combined for 31 shots on goal. It was the Panthers who had the first three find the back of the net, though, as Brandon Pirri, Aleksander Barkov, and Vincent Trocheck all lit up Jimmy Howard in the span of three minutes. The goals were all a little different; Pirri deflected a point shot, Barkov roofed it in the slot, and Trocheck came in off the wing, but all that mattered was that the Wings were free-falling, and fast.
The hero with the wheels was having none of it, though, and put the Red Wings on the board with seconds to go in the period, only to follow it up with a second tally of the game a minute into the second. That was as close as the game got, though, as Derek McKenzie eluded Brendan Smith to tap in a one-timer before the period closed. Jaromir Jagr took advantage of Smith’s early third-period vacation to the penalty box to restore the three-goal lead for his team, and while Mike Green blasted his third of the year from the point in the back half of the final frame, Trocheck struck once again to cap the game off.
Why The Wings Lost
It wasn’t for a lack of effort by the skaters; they had control for much of the game. I don’t want to pit this one entirely on Jimmy Howard, either, but it’s going to be hard to give him the nod for more starts if he’s going to have nights like this. No matter how immortal Jaromir Jagr is, stopping 27 of 33 is far from good.
What a bomb by Mike Green to put the Wings back within two. pic.twitter.com/qwpybfHjv3
— Wings Nation (@thewingsnation) February 5, 2016
Mike Green pulled a vintage point rocket out of his rotation tonight and was also Detroit’s top possession defenceman (though his minutes were admittedly very easy). It would be nice to see him start to re-integrate the powerplay skills he showed in Washington; plays like this are a start.
See You Next Time
The trip to Florida was a dud, but there’s still lots of hockey left to play. The Wings will head back up north for a day off, before returning to the Joe for a Saturday afternoon matinee against the New York Islanders. Puck drop is at 2:00 PM.