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Zetterberg: Wings lack 'urgency' in loss to Panthers

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith, left, skates away as the Panthers celebrate a goal by Colton Sceviour in the first period on Sunday in Detroit.

Detroit – Talk about a lost weekend for the Red Wings.

They followed Saturday’s shoddy loss to Boston with an even shoddier 5-2 loss Sunday to the Florida Panthers.

Both the Bruins and Panthers ended three-game losing streaks and sent the Red Wings searching for answers.

Although one fact was pretty evident after this loss.

The Red Wings weren’t sharp at all for the start of this one.

“We didn’t compete hard enough, we didn’t execute hard enough and you’re down 3-0,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Not good enough.”

Both teams played Saturday – Florida obviously flew in from Buffalo, having lost there – but it was the Panthers who had more bite and passion the first 20 minutes and it proved to be a major difference.

BOX SCORE: Panthers 5, Wings 2

“We need to have more energy, come out in the first period with more jump and play faster,” defenseman Danny DeKeyser said. “We’ve been a little too slow transitioning pucks.”

Florida’s Colton Sceviour entered the game with two goals on the season – and left with five.

Sceviour’s hat trick – he scored at even strength, on the power play and shorthanded – along with goals from Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Marchessault was too much for the Red Wings (6-4-0, 12 points).

Dylan Larkin and Brendan Smith scored Red Wings power-play goals, ending the team’s stretch of four games without a power play and an 0-for-18 drought.

And goaltender Jimmy Howard (13 saves on 14 shots) was good in relief of Petr Mrazek (four goals allowed on 10 shots), although Mrazek was left to fend for himself most of the evening.

“We gave up way too many big time chances,” Blashill said. “We had done a pretty job of that since the (New York) Rangers game, even last night we didn’t give chances, but (Sunday) too many big time chances.”

Sceviour opened the game’s scoring tapping in Trocheck’s passon the power play at 6:09.

Just 23 seconds later Sceviour, battling in front of the net, was able to knock the puck on his skate to his stick and batted a puck past Mrazek to make it 2-0.

“They came out to play and got the lead and we couldn’t find the energy to get back,” said Larkin, whose power-play goal cut the Florida lead to 3-1 early in the second period. “We were down 2-0, spotted them three goals, and you can’t do that against any team in any league.

“We have to have a much better start.”

The Panthers pushed it to 3-0 as Marchessault converted on a 2-on-1 rush with Denis Malgin, his sixth goal.

Larkin’s goal, his third, on a shot from the dot that beat goalie James Reimer, gave the Red Wings a bit of life trailing 3-1 at 2:36 of the second period.

But Trocheck scored his fourth off a 3-on-2 rush at 5:02, sending Mrazek to the bench.

Much of the energy in Joe Louis Arena, and the positive jump the Red Wings had to start the second period, pretty much escaped after the fourth Florida goal.

“We came out and we played much better,” said Larkin of the second period start. “We were creating chances off the forecheck, got our feet moving and got into the game.

“We have to clean some things up and we’ll be all right.”

Sceviour capped his hat trick with a shorthanded goal at 16:25 of the second period. Sceviour batted in a loose puck after Howard was bowled over on a collision.

“They had more urgency,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “That’s something we have to change.”

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

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