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Luongo, Panthers edge Red Wings in shootout

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- The Florida Panthers have the Detroit Red Wings' number.

Forwards Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri scored in the shootout to give the Panthers a 3-2 win against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Friday.

Detroit has three losses in its past 10 games and two have been to Florida. The Panthers defeated the Red Wings 4-3 here Dec. 2.

"It's tough to win in this building. They're a real good hockey team," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "I watched them the other night and they dominated Toronto but lost (2-1 in a shootout)."

Florida forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Jonathan Huberdeau scored in regulation. Goalie Roberto Luongo made 29 saves for the Panthers (12-8-7) and stopped Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist in the shootout.

"I thought 5-on-5 we played really well," Luongo said. "We played the game we wanted to play and we took it to the shootout. And in the shootout, anything can happen. I thought we had a great 60-minute game, from beginning to end. They've got a great team and we battled."

Trocheck, who played youth and junior hockey in Michigan for eight years, and Pirri, aren't usually shootout participants for the Panthers.

"We wanted to change it up because we've been struggling in the shootout," Gallant said.

Riley Sheahan and Nyquist scored for Detroit (17-6-7). Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made 24 saves.

"You want to get the extra point, for sure, but I thought we did a lot of good things," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "They’re a good team, they play good, and there was not a lot of room out there. I thought we had the better of the scoring chances in the third period but Luongo made two great saves on the power play. … They didn’t get much in the third but they won the shootout, so the bottom line is they get two points."

Sheahan opened the scoring with a power-play goal 5:03 into the game. He put in a rebound for his seventh goal.

Fleischmann tied it 1-1 at 7:09, when he scored on a one-timer from the slot off a pass from Dave Bolland. It was the third goal for Fleischmann, who was drafted by the Red Wings.

An uncharacteristic turnover by Detroit forward Pavel Datsyuk in front of his net led to Huberdeau's goal, which gave Florida a 2-1 lead with 6:05 left in the first period. Huberdeau beat Howard with a turn-around forehand from the inside edge of the left circle. It was Huberdeau's third goal.

"We played well and these points tonight, we need these two points," Huberdeau said. "We're a good team. When we want to play, we're a great team. That's what we want to do: Play hard and not quit."

Nyquist tied the game 2-2 on a power-play goal with 39 seconds remaining in the first period. His spinning backhand from the left circle deflected past Luongo off the leg of Florida defenseman Willie Mitchell for Nyquist's team-leading 14th goal and second in two games.

Detroit killed a four-minute Florida power play in the third period after defenseman Jakub Kindl took interference and cross-checking penalties at 5:18.

It was the Red Wings' second consecutive shootout loss; they are 1-5 this season and 8-15 in the past two seasons.

"When you come this far you want to get two points, but we can’t find a way to get through a shootout so, obviously, it’s tough," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "I don’t think it should have gone to overtime. Once again, we had a lot of chances. We have to put the puck in the net. We got some good power play, created a lot of chances."

Howard was optimistic the Red Wings' fortunes in the shootout will change.

"We keep having meeting after meeting after meeting about it," Howard said. "We work on it in practice. Just going to have to stick with it."

Red Wings forward Stephen Weiss left the game after the second period with a shoulder injury and will miss the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday, Babcock said.

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