Red Wings are powerless as winless streak hits five

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
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Detroit — The Red Wings' losing ways continue.

They earned a point Saturday, but didn't get the two they badly wanted and needed, as the Florida Panthers defeated the Wings in overtime, 3-2, at Little Caesars Arena.

Rookie Aleksi Heponiemi, playing in his first NHL game, tipped in a pass from Anthony Duclair at 2 minutes, 45 seconds of overtime, giving the Panthers (4-0-1) the victory.

The Red Wings (2-5-2) have gone winless in five games, earning a point in two of those (0-3-2).

No question, the Wings looked more active and structured Saturday against Florida compared to the losses on the road trip. Easily, this could have been a two-point effort in the standings for the Wings, if it weren't for the bad luck in overtime.

"That's the response we needed, the way we have to play," forward Dylan Larkin said of playing the Panthers evenly throughout for over 60 minutes. "We played good, outplayed them 5-on-5, and took away their power-play goals. We played a good solid game and that's what we wanted coming home."

BOX SCORE: Panthers 3, Red Wings 2, OT

Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi had first-period goals for the Wings, while Aleksander Barkov and Keith Yandle answered with Florida power-play goals.

Mantha and Larkin were kept on the bench by Blashill for the first two Red Wings power plays in an effort to spark the struggling unit.

Florida Panthers right wing Patric Hornqvist, left, is congratulated by center Aleksander Barkov after scoring during the first period.

They were back on in the third period, though the Wings went 0-for-4.

"(It was) for the team, you have to take a look at it, it wasn't working and you try other guys," Larkin said. "The whole season, in training camp, he (Blashill) said it was a privilege (to be on the power play) and it is. We tried to switch it up and get it going and just watching from the bench you can see and it was definitely a good lesson for me, I guess."

Blashill felt it was necessary to take a different look.

"Obviously the power play hasn't been good enough and we felt we'd try a couple other guys," Blashill said, "and see what they could do and when they couldn't get it done, we went back to Larks and Mantha and see what they could do.

"Somebody has to step up and play better in those situations. If it's Larks and Mantha, great, and if it's somebody else, great. It might not the last time we make those decisions as guys come back (to the lineup)."

MORE: Red Wings understand urgent need to nip winless ways in the bud

Both of the Wings' goals Saturday were goals around the Florida net, off rebounds, and the types of goals Blashill wants to see more of in the games ahead.

"Those are the types of goals that are repeatable and anyone can score," Blashill said. "You don't need to be an elite talent to score, and those are the types of goals we're going to have to score.

"We've done a better job the last couple of games of making it hard on the opposing goalie and converging on the net and getting those rebounds."

Thomas Greiss stopped 23 shots for the Wings, while Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves for the Panthers.

The Wings lost Bertuzzi to an upper-body injury in the third period and he did not return. Blashill didn't have a clear update on Bertuzzi, other than saying Bertuzzi is "questionable" to play Sunday.

The Wings also lost Luke Glendening briefly in the third period after he took a stick to the face, although Glendening did return.

The teams complete this two-game series Sunday at Little Caesars Arena (5 p.m./Fox Sports Detroit/97.1).

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

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