Panthers move into Wild Card spot with win over Red Wings
DETROIT (AP) — Aleksander Barkov set the Florida franchise record for most career points, Carter Verhaeghe scored two goals, and the streaking Panthers beat the Detroit Red Wings for the ninth consecutive time, 5-2 on Monday night.
Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists, giving him 14 points over the last five games. Eric Staal and Gustav Forsling also scored for the Panthers, who are 6-0-1 over their last seven games, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 20 shots.
Barkov recorded a second-period assist, giving him 614 points, breaking a tie with Jonathan Huberdeau for the team record.
“It’s great, and I think I’ll realize that even more as time goes by,” Barkov said. “You don’t really think about it during the game, but I’m very happy.”
His teammates were just as elated, though they tried to hide their excitement.
“We gave him the silent treatment, and I think that’s what he prefers,” Verhaeghe said. “Then we let out a big roar and congratulated him. It’s a crazy accomplishment — he’s the best player this franchise has ever had.”
Pius Suter and Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings, who have lost 10 of their last 12 games. Ville Husso had 20 saves.
The Panthers led 2-1 after the first period.
The first Florida goal came after Lucas Raymond's turnover in his own zone. Sam Bennett made the steal and passed it to Tkachuk for his 33rd goal.
“Turnovers cost us, especially in the first,” Detroit forward Andrew Copp said. “We have to find a way to play a little more inspired than we did tonight.”
Verhaeghe made it 2-0 with a slap shot that got past a screened Husso. The Red Wings challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld after a video review.
Just after killing off the subsequent penalty, Detroit got on the board when Suter jammed in a rebound of David Perron's shot.
Forsling scored on shot from the point midway through the second period to restore Florida's two-goal advantage. Barkov had the second assist, allowing him to break the franchise points record.
“He might be the most humble man I’ve ever met, and he’s certainly the most humble elite player I’ve ever met,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said. “He’s the all-time leading scorer for our franchise, but he thinks the 13th forward and seventh defenseman are just as important. He treats everyone that way every day.”
Larkin scored on a delayed penalty off a pass from Raymond at 7:53 of the third to cut the Panthers' lead to 3-2.
Staal scored on a breakaway off a pass from Anthony Duclair with under four minutes left, and Verhaeghe added a power-play goal.
Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde was frustrated by the two-man breakaway on Florida's fourth goal.
“Easy offense in a couple of situations for them. Obviously, the turnover for the first goal against and then the easy goal on 4.,” he said. “We don’t need that. We had momentum, we were playing well in the period. It’s not us. Why we had five players below the dots, below the tops of circles, I have no idea.”
Panthers F Eetu Luostarinen had an assist in the 200th game of his career. ... Florida is 29-2-3 when leading after two periods. ... The last time the Red Wings beat the Panthers was Feb. 20, 2021. ... Barkov has 42 points in 38 career games against Detroit. ... Copp notched his 150th career assist on Larkin's goal.
Panthers: At Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Red Wings: At St. Louis on Tuesday night to open a home-and-home set.
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