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Trocheck helps Panthers defeat Red Wings

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- It was quite a homecoming for Vincent Trocheck.

The Florida Panthers rookie center, who played youth hockey in Detroit and junior hockey for two Ontario Hockey League teams based in Michigan, had a goal and two assists and Florida defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena to snap Detroit's four-game winning streak.

"To come back and have a game like this and get the win is huge" said Trocheck, who played at Joe Louis Arena for the Little Caesars AAA organization, which is owned by Red Wings and Little Caesars Pizza owner Mike Ilitch. "Just [looking at] the locker room. … I remember where I sat."

Panthers forward Jimmy Hayes had a goal and an assist. Sean Bergenheim and Aaron Ekblad also scored for Florida, which lost 2-1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo stopped 38 shots after not playing in each of the past two games.

"Definitely a huge win for our team, especially after [Monday], losing in Columbus," Luongo said.

Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist. Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist also scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard made 27 saves.

"Hockey is an honest, fair game," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "You got to be honest with your work ethic and your preparation. Obviously, as a coaching staff we didn’t have the guys ready to play, we didn’t play hard enough.

"We tried to turn it up at the end, we made it close and exciting but the right team won. Let this be a lesson for us, if you want to be at the top of the league you got to play every night, you can’t play like that."

Nyquist made it a one-goal game with his 11th, with 58 seconds remaining in the third period.

"It wasn't good enough," Nyqvist said. "I thought they came at us hard, they were the ones that played last night. For some reason, they had legs going early. We just weren't good enough tonight. It's not the way we play. Just flush this one and move on."

Bergenheim gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead with 7:39 left in the second period with his fourth. He put the puck into an empty net from the inside edge of the right circle after taking a pass from Jussi Jokinen.

Trochek made it 3-1, 27 seconds into the third period. After a turnover by Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith, Trocheck skated in and beat Howard with a forehand shot for his second goal.

"[Trocheck's] a competitor," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "He's got good skills and good talent but he wants to win. He competes every night."

Ekblad got his fourth goal eight minutes into the third period. His slap shot from the point deflected in off of Nyquist's stick.

Ekblad, an 18-year-old rookie defenseman, is from a suburb of Windsor, Ontario, which is across the Detroit River.

"Pretty good feeling. My parents are here and I can’t wait to go say hi to them," Ekblad said. "I have my first goal stick that I haven’t been able to give to my parents yet, so I’m pretty excited about that."

After hitting the crossbar 7:18 into the third, Datsyuk got Detroit to within 4-2 with his 10th goal, 9:28 into the third period.

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg hit the goal post with nine seconds left in the second period.

Tatar opened the scoring with a power-play goal 6:47 into the game.

With Willie Mitchell serving the second of two minor penalties that were called at the same time, Tatar tipped Datsyuk's shot out of the air and past Luongo for his 10th goal. Former Panthers forward Stephen Weiss got the second assist, giving him three goals and three assists in five games since returning from a groin injury.

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