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Red Wings go to 5-0 in shootouts with win over Panthers

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Andreas Athanasiou congratulates Jared Coreau on his first NHL win Friday night.

Sunrise, Florida — The three-day holiday break is going to be a little more relaxing and upbeat for the Red Wings.

They rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period to tie the score, survived overtime, then won it in the shootout, 4-3 over the Florida Panthers on Friday. It was the first NHL victory for goalie Jared Coreau.

Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek scored in the shootout, which the Red Wings won 2-1.

The Red Wings killed off an Andreas Athanasiou interference penalty in overtime, while Drew Miller and Frans Nielsen scored in the third period.

BOX SCORE: Red Wings 4, Panthers 3, shootout

It was the first time the Red Wings earned at least one point this season after trailing entering the third period (0-10-0).

“Our guys have lots of character and we did a good job of hanging with it,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We were playing good hockey. We got down but we were playing good hockey and just kept with it.

“We just have to keep grinding every day in this league. The same goes with games. We kept grinding and a found a way to win.”

Long a team that struggled in shootouts, the Red Wings (15-15-4, 34 points) are 5-0 in them this season.

“So far, so good,” Vanek said of the perfect shootout record. “Those are big points at the end of the year. You lose six or seven of those and that’s the difference between eighth place or 12th place. We’re going to take any points we can get them.”

Nielsen tied it 3-3 with a goal at 13:51 with his 8th goal, putting back a rebound of Gustav Nyquist’s shot in the slot.

Drew Miller started the Red Wings' third period rally scoring 1:36 into the third period, cutting the lead to 3-2.

“A big goal by Millsie, it got us right back in it,” Nielsen said.

Athanasiou wheeled with the puck behind the net and threaded a pass through the slot to Miller, who lined a shot from a sharp angle and beat goalie Roberto Luongo for his third goal.

Anthony Mantha opened the Red Wings’ scoring with his sixth goal 12 seconds into the second period.

Coreau stopped 31 shots in his second career start, getting stronger as the game went along.

“That’s the ultimate goal, anytime you get the chance you want to get a win,” Coreau said. “The big picture is getting wins for the team. We were down and the guys battled hard to get back and win.”

Blashill decided to go with Coreau rather than Petr Mrazek in the first game since Jimmy Howard (sprained knee) hurt himself Tuesday in Tampa.

“He played well, he made big saves in the third period to allow us to get the win in the end,” Blashill said. “You have to find a way to win and he found a way to win.”

A big turning point occurred midway in the second period when an apparent Florida goal by Keith Yandle was waved off after the Red Wings challenged it.

Florida’s Nick Bjugstad was found to have interfered with Coreau, taking away Yandle’s goal, which would have given Florida a 4-1 lead.

“I knew he was in the crease by a long shot and a big part of that rule is the goalie is allowed to play his position,” Blashill said. “Because where he (Bjugstad) was at and he stepped on (Coreau’s) stick a little bit, he (Coreau) wasn’t allowed to play his position, and good for us the call went our way.”

Yandle said of the overturned goal, "At the time, you give yourself a pretty good cushion. You're up three goals it would have been. To look back on it now, you almost think we wouldn't have to have gone to overtime. It's disappointing, especially when you see it. There's plays where the goalie is interfered with, but (Bjugstad) did a great job of not touching the goalie. I'm just baffled by how it's not a goal."

One area the Red Wings continued to struggle is the power play.

The Red Wings’ power play came into the game ranked last in the NHL and it basically showed, going 0-for-5.

They are now 0-for-26 through the last seven games.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tkulfan