Joel Quenneville and his Florida Panthers said all the right things following another victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.
With another game upcoming against the same team in less than 24 hours, that’s probably wise.
When you spank a team by five goals in their building, you know you’re going to get the best the next time out — especially with the games so close together.
So, no reason to add any fuel to that fire.
The Panthers visit Detroit again Saturday at 5 p.m.
“We have to have the same mentality and not change anything,” said Anthony Duclair, who scored and had an assist in Florida’s 7-2 win on Friday night.
“We want to get off to another good start because we’re looking at them to respond, that’s for sure. For us, we are obviously a confident group right now and we want to keep it rolling.”
Before the Panthers took on Detroit on Friday, Quenneville stressed that the Panthers needed to take the last-place Wings seriously.
Considering how close the previous four games had been, with Detroit handing the first-place Panthers one of their two regulation losses, Quenneville didn’t have to preach too much.
But after beating this team by five in a game that was not really close after the first period, how does Quenneville try and keep a let down at bay on Saturday?
“It’s a fresh game, it’s a fresh opportunity,” he said. “The slate is clean and let’s be motivated to be the best we can in (Saturday’s) game. We will say that before.”
Florida’s success in Detroit, whether it has been at Joe Louis Arena or Little Caesars Arena, is well documented.
The Panthers have won their past six at LCA and are 14-2 in Detroit since the Wings joined Florida in the Atlantic Division.
Florida has also won 11 of the past 13 against Detroit overall and the Red Wings are most likely going to come out a desperate bunch Saturday.
“Being respectful for our opponent always has to be in place,” Quenneville said. “Incentivize ourselves that the better we play, the more fun we’re having.
“It’s a new game, a new challenge. Let’s push each other. The four-line rotations are helping push one another. Everyone wants more. That’s a good thing.”
The Panthers are not expected to make any major lineup changes Saturday after Quenneville mixed up his defensive pairings by putting Keith Yandle up with Anton Stralman.
Sergei Bobrovsky, who has not played since losing 6-1 to Tampa Bay last Saturday night in Sunrise, is expected to be back in net after Chris Driedger won his past three starts.
Some leftover notes from Friday night.
No need to warm them up.
— Florida’s 24 points through 15 games to start 2021 matches the most in franchise history.
The 1996-97 team, which won the Eastern Conference title months prior, started 10-1-4.
— Driedger stopped 30 of 32 shots and is now 6-1-1.
His six wins through his first eight starts match the most by a goalie in franchise history. Bobrovsky can match that tonight.
— Jonathan Huberdeau’s two assists gives him 22 points which is the most in franchise history through 15 games.
— Sasha Barkov’s season-high three points gave him his sixth multi-point game of the season.
— MacKenzie Weegar got his first goal of the season and added an assist (1-1-2) for his first multi-point game of the season.
— Florida had 21 hits Friday to increase its league lead. Radko Gudas, the biggest-hitter in the NHL this season, had a game-high five hits.
Florida Panthers at Detroit Red Wings
- When: Saturday, 5 p.m.
- Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit
- TV/Radio: FSF/560-AM
- Records: Florida 11-2-2 (1st in Central); Detroit 4-12-3 (8th)
- All-time series: Florida leads 27-18-5 (six ties)
- Season series: Florida leads 4-1-0
- Last season: Florida won all three meetings
- Up next: Dallas at Florida, Monday, 7 p.m. TICKETS HERE
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINES
23 Carter Verhaeghe — 16 Sasha Barkov — 91 Anthony Duclair
11 Jonathan Huberdeau — 21 Alex Wennberg — 70 Patric Hornqvist
77 Frank Vatrano —27 Eetu Luostarinen — 74 Owen Tippett
94 Ryan Lomberg — 83 Juho Lammikko — 10 Brett Connolly
52 MacKenzie Weegar — 5 Aaron Ekblad
3 Keith Yandle — 6 Anton Stralman
42 Gustav Forsling — 7 Radko Gudas
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
60 Chris Driedger
Scratches: D Markus Nutivaara, D Noah Juulsen, F Vinnie Hinostroza
Taxi squad: D Kevin Connauton, F Scott Wilson, F Mason Marchment, G Philippe Desrosiers
IR: F Noel Accari (upper body)
Florida power play (12/41 29.3% — 6th in NHL)
Florida penalty kill (32/42 76.2% — 22nd in NHL)
PP1: Sasha Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Patric Hornqvist, Aaron Ekblad, Keith Yandle
PP2: Alex Wennberg, Frank Vatrano, Anthony Duclair, Carter Verhaeghe, Anton Stralman
PROJECTED DETROIT RED WINGS LINES
11 Filip Zadina — 71 Dylan Larkin — 86 Mathias Brome
39 Anthony Mantha — 14 Robby Fabbri — 54 Bobby Ryan
43 Darren Helm — 51 Val Filppula — 89 Sam Gagner
81 Frans Nielsen — 41 Luke Glendening — 73 Adam Erne
24 Jon Merrill — 17 Filip Hronek
18 Marc Staal — 70 Troy Stecher
44 Christian Djoos — 22 Patrik Nemeth
45 Jonathan Bernier
29 Thomas Greiss
Detroit power play (4/56 7.1% — 30th in NHL)
Detroit penalty kill (38/52 73.1% — 27th in NHL)
PP1: Bobby Ryan, Dylan Larkin, Filip Zadina, Christian Djoos, Mathias Brome
PP2: Val Filppula, Robby Fabbri, Frans Nielsen, Filip Hronek, Jon Merrill