DETROIT (AP) — Aaron Ekblad and Vincent Trocheck had happy homecomings Tuesday night.
Ekblad, a native of nearby Windsor, Ontario, scored the winner and Trocheck, who called Joe Louis Arena home when he played youth hockey, added a goal to help the Florida Panthers end Detroit’s four-game winning streak, 4-3.
Sean Bergenheim gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead midway through the second period when he shot into an open net after a giveaway — one of many — deep in the Red Wings’ zone. The hosts played from behind the rest of the night.
Ekblad, the first pick in this year’s NHL draft who grew up across the Detroit River, scored on a slap shot midway through the third period to give Florida a cushion it would need.
“It’s pretty cool,” the 18-year-old defenseman said. “A lot of my favorite players of all time have played in this building.
“My parents are here and I can’t wait to say ‘Hi’ to them.”
Jimmy Hayes added a goal for Florida, which has won three of its last four.
Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist scored with 59 seconds to play to cut the lead to a goal, but the Red Wings never got another good chance.
Tomas Tatar and Pavel Datsyuk each scored their 10th goals and Jimmy Howard made 27 saves for the Red Wings, who were seeking a fourth straight home victory.
Roberto Luongo made 38 saves to secure his eighth win of the season.
Florida’s Willie Mitchell earned four minutes in the penalty box early in the first period after roughing and high-sticking Darren Helm in front of the Panthers’ net. Tatar made the Panthers pay when he tapped Datsyuk’s wrister past Luongo.
Hayes evened the score late in the first period and Trocheck and Ekblad added third-period goals to give the Panthers a 4-1 lead.
“A lot of family and friends here tonight at the game,” said Trocheck, who played in the youth system owned by Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch. “To come back and have a game like this and get the win is huge.”
Florida had played at Columbus 24 hours earlier, while Detroit had the night off. It was hard to tell which team had the extra rest.
The Red Wings had 12 giveaways — 11 in the first period — to the Panthers’ four and never seemed as spry as their guests most of the night.
“I thought they came at us hard; they were the ones that played last night,” Nyquist said. “For some reason, they had legs going early.
“We just weren’t good enough tonight.”
Coach Mike Babcock was a little more blunt.
“We were brutal. No good. Period,” he said. “We can pretend that we were prepared, but we’re just kidding ourselves.”
Both teams had to cancel their morning skates after a massive power outage Tuesday morning shut down several public buildings, including Joe Louis Arena, in the city’s downtown. Power was restored to most of the affected buildings by nightfall and the game began as scheduled.
The Red Wings had a late start in Sunday’s 5-3 win over Vancouver because of a power failure seconds into the game. The two outages were not related.
NOTES: Hockey Hall of Famer and Detroit legend Gordie Howe was placed in intensive care at a Lubbock, Texas, hospital after suffering what his family called a major stroke Monday night. The 86-year-old has suffered three strokes since late October. … Florida forward Aleksander Barkov was scratched with an upper-body injury. … Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader missed the game with a left shoulder injury he suffered during Sunday’s win over Vancouver.
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