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Weiss, Red Wings hold on to defeat Panthers

by Alain Poupart /

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Detroit Red Wings forward Stephen Weiss finally got to enjoy a victory against his former team, and it was even sweeter because he played a big role in it.

Weiss, the Florida Panthers’ all-time leader in games played and assists, had a goal and two assists to help the Red Wings to a 5-4 win at BB&T?Center on Tuesday and extend their season-best winning streak to six games.

Weiss, who was a first-round pick of the Panthers in the 2001 NHL Draft and played for them through the 2012-13 season, had one assist in his previous four games against the Panthers. All of them were Red Wings losses.

"I???don’t think since I’ve played against them we beat them, so that was a little stressful coming down the end there,"???Weiss said. "They’ve come back on a lot of teams. They battled hard. But it feels good to finally get a win against them and to contribute and score a goal is special, especially in this building."

It also was a big night for second-year Red Wings forward Luke Glendening, who had the first two-goal game of his NHL???career. Glendening came in with five goals in 103 games.

"That’s awesome,"???Weiss said. "You probably see some pretty big smiles on [Riley]???Sheahan and [my] face after his goals. He’s a heart-and-soul guy. He does all the little things that don’t show up on the game sheet all the time. So to see him get a couple tonight was awesome."

Drew Miller and Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit (28-11-9), which has 26 non-shootout goals during its winning streak.

Petr Mrazek, making his eighth consecutive start in net in place of injured all-star Jimmy Howard, made 37 saves.

Aleksander Barkov had a goal and two assists for the Panthers (20-15-10), who have lost five in a row. Nick Bjugstad had a goal and an assist, Brandon Pirri and Brad Boyes each had a goal, and rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad had two assists.

The Panthers went 3-for-5 on the power play, the first time they scored more than once with the man advantage this season. Florida had been 1-for-23 on the power play in its past eight games.

"The power play was working, but we didn’t really turn it on 5-on-5 until the end of the game,"???Bjugstad said. "You’ve got to change that up. It wasn’t a full 60 minutes obviously. Special teams was a positive, bright side ... but you’ve got to win 5-on-5 and special teams, you can’t just be good in one area on the ice. We didn’t come out the way we wanted to and we ended well, but that wasn’t enough."

Florida goalie Roberto Luongo was pulled with 7:37 left in the second period after giving up five goals on 19 shots.

"We didn’t make a ton of mistakes, (but)???the ones we did I???just didn’t come up with the saves,"???said Luongo, who played in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday. "You have to give the guys credit, they battled back. They almost tied it at the end there. Just got to be sharper next game, that’s all."

The Red Wings defeated the Panthers for the first time in three games this season.

Detroit scored four unanswered goals in the second period to take a 5-2 lead. The last three came from the Weiss-Sheahan-Glendening line and were scored less than five minutes apart.

"We’d never played together before, but those are two great players, so I didn’t have to do much out there,"???Glendening said. "Three straight shifts, things were just going in for us. But you know that happens some nights ... for me, not very often, but it’s fortunate."

Glendening scored his first goal at 7:07 of the second period to give the Red Wings a 3-2 lead after Panthers defenseman Dylan Olsen’s misplay behind the net.

Weiss made it 4-2 at 8:26 after Sheahan skated around Olsen and fed a pass across the crease.

Glendening’s second goal came at 11:19 after Florida forward Jussi Jokinen tried to glove Weiss’ soft shot toward the net. Glendening controlled the puck and his shot went over Luongo's left shoulder.

Zetterberg began the Detroit outburst 32 seconds into the period when he was left alone in the slot and took a pass from Gustav Nyquist from behind the net and beat Luongo with a shot to the stick side.

"Individual mistakes today cost us some goals,"?????????Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "Four goals in a span of whatever it was in that second period really killed us. We battled back and there were some good things, but it’s not enough. We want to win games. We can outshoot them, we can outplay them, but we can’t give up soft goals and easy goals like we did tonight."

Bjugstad cut the lead to 5-3 at 15:30 of the second period after Ekblad’s slap shot from the point went wide. Bjugstad backhanded the loose puck behind Mrazek from the side of the net.

Boyes made it 5-4 with 9:06 remaining in the third when he redirected a pass across the crease.

The Panthers pulled their goalie with 1:51 left after getting a late power play, but Mrazek made five saves in the last 2:32.

"I thought [Petr] was OK, but then good at the end,"?????????Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "[Petr] just wins games. Sometimes some of the goals he gives up you ask, ‘Why did that go in?’ But then he wins the game. In the end, that’s what matters, winning games."

Looking to change their luck on the power play, the Panthers used four forwards.

The move initially backfired with Miller scoring a shorthanded goal 8:06 into the game. Miller beat Luongo on a breakaway through the five-hole after a deke to his backhand.

The Panthers took advantage of a 5-on-3 situation to get goals from Barkov and Pirri in a span of 1:08 to take a 2-1 lead.

"It was great,"?????????Boyes said of the Panthers power play. "Even at the end we had some great looks. I?????????know I?????????had one. I?????????just felt a lot more comfortable. We recovered pucks, we got good shots, we got some big goals. There were a lot of good things going there.

"That’s a good part, but overall we’re slipping here, we’re losing points that we need. That’s kind of what we’re looking at right now. The power play is going, but 5-on-5 we’ve got to pick that up. That’s been slipping as of late for us, giving up too many chances, too many goals."

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