Sunrise, Fla.—The Red Wings keep earning points in the standings.
And more of those points are because of victories, which is a good sign for a team that is getting healthy players back and rounding into form.
Thursday they rallied with two goals in the second period — from Daniel Alfredsson and Gustav Nyquist — and defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-1.
Brian Lashoff scored an empty-net goal to cap the scoring.
The Red Wings (26-19-12, 64 points) have earned points in eight of their last 10 games and are 6-2-2 in the process.
“We had a tough stretch, but now we seem to be getting most of the bodies back and we’re gaining confidence,” Alfredsson said. “We’re putting a good stretch together, but we need one more good effort (Saturday in Tampa Bay) to put ourselves in a better situation.
“We should be happy with what we’ve done in the last few weeks.”
Pavel Datsyuk returned to the Red Wings lineup Thursday and had one shot in 13 minutes, 34 seconds.
What made Thursday’s victory a bit more impressive was the way they rebounded from a crushing Florida goal in the final seconds of the first period.
Florida’s Scottie Upshall charged out of the penalty box and took a long pass from former Red Wings forward Tomas Kopecky.
Upshall went in on the breakaway and scored on goalie Jimmy Howard with 25 seconds left in the first period.
This during a period in which the Red Wings outshot the Panthers 11-2 and dominated the overall play.
“It happens in hockey,” said Howard, who stopped 23 shots, 16 in the third period. “You’re hemming the other team in and there’s a breakdown and, boom, something like that happens every once in a while.
“But we came into the intermission upbeat and we did a good job on out.”
Alfredsson tied it, 1-1, with a power play goal, his 13th, at 6:30 of the second period, tapping in a rebound off a scramble in front of Panthers goalie Tim Thomas (Davison).
With the goal, Alfredsson tied former Red Wing Nicklas Lidstrom (1,142 points) as the second-highest scoring Swedish player in NHL history. Mats Sundin leads with 1,349.
Nyquist extended the lead to 2-1 with his 14th goal at 13:22.
He gathered a loose puck in his zone and rushed up ice, unleashing a shot from the dot that beat Thomas.
“Me and Abby came around on a 2-on-2 and I kind of skated wide, Abby drove down the middle, and I tried to catch the goalie a little off guard,” Nyquist said. “I shot it quick and it was nice to see it go in.”
Howard made a big stop on Sean Bergenheim on a partial breakaway with just under five minutes left in the game to preserve the victory, as well as a late Panthers power play with just over two minutes to play.
Lashoff scored an empty net goal, seconds after the Red Wings had killed their third consecutive penalty of the night.
“We were 30 minutes very good and 30 minutes not very good,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We can play way better than that. But I liked the way we controlled play early, the way we started, and we had more guys in the lineup, so we’re a better team.
“It was a good win for our team. Howie was real good and our penalty killing was good.”