Florida Panthers GameDay
Lundell Shows Off: Florida Panthers 6, Detroit Red Wings 2
SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers home crisis is officially over.
After kicking off a five-game homestand with three consecutive losses, the Panthers snapped their losing skid Thursday against the Ottawa Senators with a resounding win.
Saturday night showed things were back to normal as the Panthers had themselves a time.
As was the case Thursday against the Sens, the Panthers controlled this game from the start. Unlike Thursday, the Panthers were able to cash in as they scored early and often against a rebuilding Red Wings team in a 6-2 win at FLA Live Arena.
Detroit is doing a nice job. It is close to being a good team — but the Wings are not on Florida’s level when things are humming.
And, Saturday, the Panthers were zipping right along.
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Saturday’s game was billed as a battle between three of the top candidates for the NHL’s Calder Trophy which goes to the top rookie in the league.
If it all came down to Saturday, Florida freshman Anton Lundell would win in a landslide.
Lundell ended his night against Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond with two goals.
It was yet another nice night for Florida’s 20-year-old center.
The Panthers kicked things off 4:10 into the game when Mason Marchment slid in front of a MacKenzie Weegar delivery, walked around goalie Thomas Griess and put a backhanded shot past.
Detroit did do something the Sens could not, however, as it tied the score three minutes later when Robby Fabbri got his stick out in traffic and knocked a Danny DeKeyser shot past Sergei Bobrovsky.
That was about all the offense the Wings would muster for quite a while.
Florida then scored the next five goals — two from Lundell — as the Panthers got some power play mojo going.
At the 11-minute mark, Anthony Duclair put everything he had into a nice feed from Sam Reinhart and gave the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish.
Following a pair of penalties from the Wings, Lundell got his first with 1:58 left in the first and both he and the Panthers were off and running.
Florida added three goals to its lead in the second with Sam Bennett opening things off with some deft stickwork coming off a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau at 7:54.
Four minutes later, Lucas Carlsson’s soft wrister from just inside the left circle seemed to surprise Greiss — and that was it for the Detroit goalie.
Alex Nedeljkovic, who played so well against the Panthers while a rookie with Carolina last year, held things together for a bit but Lundell struck again 3:47 remaining in the period.
Detroit actually got the final goal of the night, Tyler Bertuzzi scoring with 5:14 remaining.
The Panthers ended up going 2-3-0 on the homestand and sustained their first home losing streak of the season during it.
Florida will now be tested away from Sunrise as six of the next seven come on the road with a quick back-to-back coming Monday in Buffalo and Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Following a brief stop back in South Florida to host the Flyers on Thursday, the Panthers then take off for the shining west coast and a four-game trip with stops in Southern and Northern California as well as Las Vegas.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Anton Lundell, Florida
2. Sam Bennett, Florida
3. Sam Reinhart, Florida
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT BUFFALO SABRES
- When: Monday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Key Bank Center, Buffalo
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM
- 2021 regular season series: Did not play
- Season Series — Florida leads 1-0: @Florida 7, Sabres 4 (Dec. 2)
- All-time regular season series: Buffalo leads 52-43-5, 4 ties