Florida Panthers slam Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Saturday
By LARRY LAGE
AP Hockey Writer
DETROIT — The Florida Panthers were thrilled to have banged-up goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky back on the ice. He was pretty happy about it, too.
Bobrovsky made 27 saves, helping Florida beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Saturday night to win four straight for the first time this season.
“Great to get back and play again,” he said. “I missed only two games and it feels like I haven’t played for a month.”
Bobrovsky looked sharp and appeared to finish the game healthy after being out with an upper-body injury.
Evgenii Dadonov and Mark
Pysyk scored late in the first period and that was enough offense to beat the lowly Red Wings.
Detroit has dropped four games in a row, giving the once-proud franchise an NHL-worst 12-33-4 record this season.
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, though, liked how physical and feisty his team played in its latest loss.
“We’re not going to limp through and just kind of play these games,” Blashill said. “We’re gonna fight like crazy to win every night and fight like crazy to get better every day.”
Dylan Larkin scored the 100th goal of his career with the Red Wings.
“Hopefully, there’s a lot more,” he said. “It doesn’t feel great right now.”
Larkin’s goal pulled Detroit within a goal early in the second period, but the offensively challenged team could not get closer.
Jimmy Howard stopped the first 12 shots he faced before Florida scored on two of its final four shots in the first period. He finished with 34 saves.
The veteran, whose season has been stunted by injury, has played in four straight games. The team needed Howard to be in net on consecutive nights with Jonathan Bernier out with his own injury.
“The past two games, he’s played great for us,” Larkin said. “He’s been our best player. We need him to keep going.”
Larkin had a goal 5:15 into the second period, taking advantage of open ice after coming out of the penalty box and Darren Helm’s long pass that set him up for a breakaway.