Panthers edge Wings in OT, Abdelkader hurt
Detroit — The Red Wings keep earning points but aren’t always looking good and even losing in the process.
They earned a point for a fifth consecutive game (3-0-2) but lost Thursday in overtime to Florida 2-1.
Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov scored at 2 minutes, 4 seconds of overtime, giving the Panthers the victory.
It was a game the Red Wings (11-10-3, 25 points) felt fortunate to have earned a crucial point in the tight standings.
“I feel we got a point but we didn’t play good enough,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I don’t think about whether we were fortunate or unfortunate. I think about how we play and we have to play better than that long term to have success.”
Said defenseman Niklas Kronwall: “The one point is huge obviously, the standings are so tight. We’d like two (points) but the way we played, we should be very lucky to have one.”
anthers goalie Roberto Luongo made a fine save on Henrik Zetterberg seconds earlier in overtime to keep the Red Wings from winning.
“He (Mantha) throws it back to me and I didn’t get all of it,” Zetterberg said. “Should be better than that.”
Zetterberg and Florida’s Jason Demers traded first-period goals, the only scoring in regulation time.
The Red Wings were outshot 30-21 and were forced to kill six Florida power plays (the Red Wings were 0-for-4 on the power play).
“You can’t be in the box as much,” Blashill said. “It takes away momentum for sure. Their power play was good. They had chances. At times we did a good job of killing, but their power play was very good. They created momemtum even if they didn’t score.”
Maybe more distressing for the Red Wings was another player getting hurt.
Justin Abdelkader went down with some sort of right leg injury in the first period and didn’t return.
Abdelkader attempted to check a Panthers defenseman, missed, and appeared to injure his right leg on the fall along the boards.
Abdelkader flexed his right leg as he skated gingerly off the ice, and was wincing on the bench before heading into the locker room.
Blashill didn’t think the Abdelkader injury will be a long-term situation.
“I don’t think he’s going to be out that long,” Blashill said. “We’ll see, I’ll know more on that (Friday).”
Abdelkader would join goalie Jimmy Howard (groin), defensemen Brendan Smith (knee) and Alexey Marchenko (right AC joint) and forwards Darren Helm (dislocated shoulder), Andreas Athanasiou (knee) and Tyler Bertuzzi (high ankle sprain).
Drew Miller, who was a healthy scratch Thursday against the Panthers, would theoretically draw back into the lineup Saturday in Pittsburgh.
Zetterberg scored for the Red Wings just 1:23 into the game, while Demers answered for the Panthers later in the first period with the teams skating four players per side.
“We started good, we played with good pace and in their end,” Zetterberg said.
“Then, they slowly just took the game over. Power plays, from the penalties we take. It’s tough for us to get any momentum.”