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game recap

Datsyuk sparks Red Wings to victory

Veteran forward scores twice against Panthers, Detroit rallies from down two goals

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Detroit Red Wings gained momentum with Pavel Datsyuk's power-play goal at the end of the second period and carried it to a 5-3 victory against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Saturday.

Luke Glendening scored the game-winning goal at 8:39 of the third period.

The Red Wings trailed 3-1 before Datsyuk scored with 10.1 seconds left in the second.

"That was huge," Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard said. "You could feel it here in the dressing room, the intensity the guys had."

Video: DET@FLA: Glendening tips in Larkin's shot, takes lead

Datsyuk had two goals, Dylan Larkin had a goal and an assist, and Tomas Tatar scored for the Red Wings (36-25-11), who are three points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Flyers, who lost 3-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, have two games in hand.

Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall, back after missing three games because of a sprained knee, had two assists, and Howard made 23 saves. Goalie Petr Mrazek was scratched because of illness for the second consecutive game.

"I thought we did a good job for the 60 minutes," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "That was our biggest focus. We've talked about making sure we play 60 minutes and making sure we're resilient, and when you get scored on, just keep going. I thought we did a good job of that. The one thing with the offense is we got to the net and we've got to continue to get to the net to be successful here. It's the only way you're going to score in this league over and over and over again, and we found a way to do it."

Nick Bjugstad had a goal and an assist for Florida, and Vincent Trocheck and Teddy Purcell scored. Purcell's goal was the 100th of his NHL career and his second since joining the Panthers in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 27.

Video: DET@FLA: Datsyuk rattles home power-play goal

Florida goalie Roberto Luongo, making his fifth start in six games, had 25 saves.

The Panthers (40-23-9, 89 points) lead the Tampa Bay Lightning by two points and the Boston Bruins by three for first place in the Atlantic Division.

It was the second time in four games the Panthers lost in regulation after having a two-goal lead. They led 2-0 against the New York Islanders on Monday before losing 3-2.

"A couple-goal lead, those seem to be tough for us lately to hold on to," Bjugstad said. "Gave up a couple of power-play goals; that'll cost you too. Sometimes it comes down to special teams. When you get in a run-and-gun game with those guys, it's tough to win. They've got a lot of good players. You want to keep it tight against those guys. There were a few lapses on our part; that's kind of what changed the game."

Actor Kevin Spacey, the inspiration behind the Panthers' "Spacey in Space" sweatshirts given to their player of the game after a victory, was in attendance.

Video: DET@FLA: Kevin Spacey relishes Panthers and the fans

The Panthers handed out 10,000 Spacey cut-out faces on sticks, and the Oscar-winning actor, who has become a good-luck charm for the Panthers, got a standing ovation when he revealed his face behind one during a second-period stoppage.

The game drew 20,817, a regular-season record for a Panthers game at BB&T Center.

"I didn't know that was the biggest crowd we've ever had, so that's really appreciated by the players," Bjugstad said. "It's exciting for us that people are excited too. Unfortunately, we couldn't give them what they wanted."

Glendening gave Detroit its first lead when he scored his sixth goal to make it 4-3, deflecting Larkin's shot from the left boards past Luongo. The goal was confirmed after video review to determine whether Glendening's stick was above the crossbar for the deflection.

"I just threw it on net and he did a great job being there," Larkin said. "To continue being successful, we've got to get to those areas and win battles like he did."

Video: DET@FLA: Bjugstad scores on the give-and-go

Datsyuk scored an empty-net goal with 37 seconds left.

Florida led 3-2 after the second period, but Larkin tied it at 3:52 of the third with a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot.

Bjugstad opened the scoring at 10:49 of the first period after intercepting a pass at the Detroit blue line. He immediately passed the puck to Jiri Hudler, who fed it back to the slot for a Bjugstad redirection past Howard.

Bjugstad has three goals and four assists in the past seven games after having three in his previous 11.

"It's coming a little bit," Bjugstad said. "I've just got to keep the confidence going. It's a weird thing to explain, but just gotta work hard, I guess."

After Tatar's power-play goal at 18:25 of the first on a deflection of a shot by Brad Richards, the Panthers took a 3-1 lead in the second period.

Video: DET@FLA: Larkin secures rebound, resets and scores

Trocheck scored at 7:08 after Jussi Jokinen stole the puck from Datsyuk outside the Detroit zone. Jokinen fed Trocheck, who came in alone on Howard and beat him between the legs after a deke to his backhand. Jokinen has at least a point in 12 of his past 13 games.

Purcell added to the Florida lead at 12:48 after taking a pass from Bjugstad and coming in alone on Howard. After Howard made a save, Purcell retrieved the puck behind the net and passed it to the front, where it bounced in off Howard.

Detroit and Florida split their four-game season series.

The Red Wings play Tuesday at Tampa Bay. The Panthers begin a three-game road trip Monday against the New York Rangers.

"We just didn't play well, didn't play hard, didn't compete enough," Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. "Detroit wanted it more and they went out and got it."

Video: Datsyuk leads Red Wings charge with two goals in win

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