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Trending: Larkin scores his 100th career goal in loss to Panthers

Wings can't connect on power play, going 0-for-7

by Arthur J. Regner and Dana Wakiji @ArthurJRegner and @Dwakiji /

DETROIT -- There is an old hockey adage that the outcome of most games comes down to special teams play.

If you can convert on your power-play chances and be effective on the penalty kill, you give yourself a good chance of being the victor.   

Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena, the Red Wings were defeated by the Florida Panthers, 4-1, in a hotly contested affair in which each team played with a nasty edge.

The Red Wings had a team-high 27 penalty minutes while the Panthers were whistled for 19 penalty minutes.

The combined 46 total minutes in penalties was a season-high for Detroit.

With so many penalties, the Wings had ample opportunity to score with the man-advantage but they finished 0-for-7 on the power play.

Florida was 1-for-6 with the extra man and their power-play tally by Aleksander Barkov at 13:05 of the third period gave the Panthers a two-goal cushion at 3-1.

Dylan Larkin scored Detroit's only goal, his 12th goal of the season and the 100th goal of his young career.

Evgenii Dadonov, Mark Pysyk, Barkov (power play) and Denis Malgin (empty net) lit the lamp for Florida.

For the second night in a row, Jimmy Howard (2-17-2) started in the Red Wings' net and as he did in Friday's game against Pittsburgh, Howard played a solid game, giving the Wings a chance to win. He stopped 34 of the 37 shots he faced for a .919 save percentage.

Sergei Bobrovsky (17-12-4) was also sharp in the Panthers goal, surrendering one goal on 28 shots for a save percentage of .964.

With the loss, the Red Wings (12-33-4), have now dropped four straight games to Florida, including all three meetings this season.

Detroit now hits the road for two games before the All-Star break. It plays on Monday afternoon in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and next Wednesday in Minnesota versus the Wild.

Florida (26-16-5) also sees its next action on Monday when they play the second game of its current six-game road trip, taking on the Minnesota Wild.                

1. Dylan Larkin: There's no doubt that Larkin was not pleased to sit in the box for two minutes for slashing Panthers defenseman Mark Pysyk. But he was more than ready when he got out and Darren Helm found him for a breakaway at 5:15 of the second. Larkin got Bobrovsky moving and scored stick-side for his 12th goal of the season. More importantly, it was the 100th goal of Larkin's career. Larkin became just the sixth Wings player in the last 40 years to record his 100th career goal before turning 24. At 23 years, five months, Larkin is the youngest to do so since Steve Yzerman scored his 100th at 21 years and eight months against the Quebec Nordiques on Jan. 17, 1987. The milestone came in Larkin's 367th game, making him only the 14th Detroit player to score his 100th goal in 400 or fewer games. The others are Petr Klima (231 games), Sergei Fedorov (233), Gerard Gallant (245), Yzerman (256), John Ogrodnick (260), Slava Kozlov (268), Henrik Zetterberg (272), Johan Franzen (332), Pavel Datsyuk (342), Bob Probert (348), Tomas Tatar (352), Gustav Nyquist (375) and Shawn Burr (400). Larkin finished with 26 shifts for 24:16, the most among Detroit forwards, three shots, one hit, one takeaway, one blocked shot, was 19-for-28 in face-offs and was even.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Larkin out of the box to the back of the net for his 100th career goal! #LGRW

Quotable: "I wasn't thinking much. Helmer made a great pass. I was hoping that - I knew he was at the end of a shift. He ripped that thing. I was just trying to stay onside, and I had to get on my horse to make sure that the defenseman coming back wasn't gonna catch me. It was a great play by Helmer. I was in the right spot. Unfortunately I was in the box. If you're in there enough, I guess you're gonna get a chance like that. I needed a couple more at the end of the game. It's a dream to score a goal in the NHL and I'm just in a good spot there. I've been pretty fortunate to play with good players in my career. Hopefully, there's a lot more. It doesn't feel great right now but it's good to get, I guess." - Larkin

Quotable II: "He just keeps getting better and better. Every year he comes to came more determined to be a better player than he was the last year. It's great to watch. He does it right. He battles every night. Congratulations to him. That's awesome." - Luke Glendening

Quotable III: "I'd say two areas. I do think his offensive skill set has gotten better because of how hard he works at it, both through the season and in the summer. Not just scoring but passing and the little plays he makes with the puck and things like that. The other area he's really improved is his two-way game. There's times where he's been one of the better two-way players in the league. I've taken him in World Championships and played him against some of the best players in the world and he's done a good job of matching in those situations, too. I think the important thing for Dylan is he keeps getting better and the thing that is going to allow that to happen is he knows that and he keeps working at it." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: .@Dylanlarkin39's 100th. #LGRW

2. Jimmy Howard: The Wings as a team have not done enough to win the last couple of games but that is not because of Howard. Howard started back-to-back games for the first time this season and was able to build on his Saturday night performance. Against the Panthers, one of the top-scoring teams in the league, Howard had to be at his best. During a four-minute penalty kill in the first period, Howard had to stop Jonathan Huberdeau, Brett Connolly and Barkov in short succession. Dadonov got free on a breakaway and scored the first goal of the game at 17:15. That was followed quickly by Mark Pysyk's rebound goal at 18:40. In the second, Howard made a nice sliding save on Vincent Trocheck at 11:54 to keep the game at 2-1. Howard stopped Barkov on a breakaway at 2:20 of the third but could not prevent Barkov from redirecting the puck on the power play at 13:05. Still, Howard made 35 saves Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins and 34 Saturday against the Panthers.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Post game comments:- Luke Glendening- Dylan Larkin- Jimmy Howard- Coach Blashill#FLAvsDET | @CocaCola

Quotable: "Just playing. Just playing free, not thinking out there. After the Island game, you're like, 'How much worse can it get?' You just go out there and play. It helps for any goalie in this league when you're seeing the puck early and makes some saves. You sort of get into the rhythm of the game. I've been fortunate for that the last couple of nights. The guys did a great job in front of me last night and again tonight. Last night they had 19 blocks, or something like that. Tonight, they had quite a few, too. So it's a little bit of both." - Howard

Quotable II: "Howie's been great these last two here. He gave us a chance. I feel bad that we weren't able to pull this one out for him. He's been outstanding these last two. Good for him." - Glendening

Quotable III: "Jimmy's played great both nights. He made some huge saves tonight, I think. To see him play back to back, see him get over his injuries and his bumps and bruises, seeing him bounce back from that, he's a great teammate, great guy, great goalie. We believe in him. The past two games, he's played great for us. He's been our best player. We need him to keep going. With Bernie (Jonathan Bernier) still out, we need to ride him into the break and hopefully get two wins for him that he deserves big time." - Larkin

3. Filip Hronek : Hronek's game typified the chippy, physical nature of this Atlantic Division rivalry game. Hronek generally plays with an edge to his game and that came to the forefront against the Panthers. After Trocheck's hit on Valtteri Filppula forced Filppula out of the game with a lower-body injury, Hronek went after Trocheck. Both players received fighting majors but Hronek also got an instigator minor and a 10-minute misconduct at 13:47 of the first period. Later, the two tangled again with Trocheck getting an interference minor at 1:35 of the third period. Hronek, who normally leads the team in ice time, played 19 shifts for 15:14, had one shot, three hits, a blocked shot and was minus-1.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Saturday night's alright. #LGRW

Quotable: "Good. You have to stick up for yourself in this league. It's always fun when the game's a little bit on edge out there." - Howard

Quotable II: "Again, we stuck together tonight. We battled. I thought the game with Pittsburgh was like a playoff game. Tonight was just as physical. I think we need to stay out of the box and we need to convert on the power plays. That's the story tonight. It's frustrating we had that many tries on the power play and we don't come up with one." - Larkin

Quotable III: "One thing we've really concentrated and focused on is our physicality, making sure we're physical and we've done different things to try to embrace that physicality and since the Christmas break we've been way better at that. When it's a physical game it just draws you into the fight a little bit more, draws the emotion into the game a little bit more, both ways, brings the temperature of the game up and I think that's a great thing for us. We're not going to limp through and play these games, we're going to fight like crazy to win every night and we're going to fight like crazy to get better every night." - Blashill

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