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Trending: Slow start hurts Wings against Panthers

Power play one bright spot as Larkin and Smith both score

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT - The Red Wings were playing their fourth game in six days and it kind of looked like it.


The Florida Panthers were on the same schedule but were even more desperate after losing three in a row to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres.

The Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back, defeating the Wings, 5-2.


1. Slow starts: On Saturday night against the Boston Bruins, the Wings did not get their first shot until after the midway point of the first. Energy seemed to be a problem in the first period against the Panthers as well, as the Wings fell behind quickly and couldn't really get going until the second period.


Quotable: "Not good enough in the first. We didn't compete hard enough. We didn't execute well enough, so when you get yourself down 3-0, you're digging yourself out. We came out in the second and we played harder, we did lots of things better but we didn't play smart at all. We gave up crazy chances where it's too easy to score against us. Not good enough." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill


2. Brendan Smith /power play: Smith got his spot back on the power play when Blashill decided to put Xavier Ouellet back in the lineup, replacing Ryan Sproul. At 10:03 of the third, Smith drove to the net and Frans Nielsen found him as Smith buried the puck top shelf over Florida goaltender James Reimer. It was Smith's first goal since Dec. 31, 2015 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Smith also assisted on Dylan Larkin's power-play goal at 2:26 of the second. Smith was the only non-goaltender without a point coming in. After going 0-for-17 the last four games, the Wings went 2-for-5 on the power play.


Quotable: "The power play scored. That's good. That unit with Nielsen was good. I thought Nielsen was our best power play player today. That's a positive for sure." - Blashill


3. Colton Sceviour: Sceviour came into the game with really good numbers against the Wings. He'll leave with great numbers. Sceviour scored on the power play at 6:09 of the first period. Just 23 seconds later, he had his second when he went to the net and got the rebound. At 16:25 of the second, Sceviour recorded his first career hat trick by scoring shorthanded. Sceviour also assisted on Vincent Trocheck's goal at 5:02 of the second. For his career, Sceviour has six goals and two assists in six games against the Wings. For his part, Trocheck has six goals and four assists in nine games against the Wings.


Quotable: "That was exciting; I can't even remember the last hat trick I scored. I can't take too much credit, though. I think all three goals were shots from the blue. Any line only goes as well as its center, and Vinnie has been great. He's just flying around out there and making plays. - Sceviour

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