The Detroit Red Wings earn every bit of a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.
The first period was a rather uneventful one, but it would prove meaningful for one player in particular. At 4:06, Justin Abdelkader took the puck into the zone, fought his way to the net and let off a shot on goaltender Tim Thomas. The rebound found its way to a speeding Dan Cleary, who potted the easy rebound to make it 1-0 Wings early, and his first goal in 24 games. Shots through one period were tied at 9 per side.
The Panthers would answer early in the second. At 2:59, on a very questionable non-whistle by the official, Jonas Gustavsson took a shot which fell down to his pads and got covered under his leg. Jimmy Hayes made his way to the net and jammed at Gustavsson’s pad, knocking the puck loose and into the net to tie the game 1-1. The Red Wings got sorely outshot in the second, as shots through two periods were 26-14 in favor of Florida.
The third period proved to be the dagger for Detroit. At 3:29, Jonathan Huberdeau took a pass right in front of Gustavsson, completely undefended. He put the puck on his backhand and flicked it past Gustavsson to take the lead 2-1. Unconverted power play chances and a late icing would see the score finish the same, as shots through the game ended up 37-23.
They earned every ounce of this loss. Lazy passes, slow skating, not fighting to the net, lazy power plays and unconverted chances doomed them. They may be missing three of their better forwards, but that’s absolutely no excuse for playing the way they did tonight. You absolutely can not doom yourself to go through the motions because you’re missing players, and you’re tired. Unacceptable. Next game is, again, against the Florida Panthers, this time in Florida, on Tuesday night. See you then, Nation.