Detroit Red Wings fall to Florida Panthers 2-1 in overtime
By BOB DUFF
DETROIT — It was a night for ending droughts for the Florida Panthers.
They hadn’t won in overtime all season. Defenseman Mike Matheson hadn’t scored a goal all season. But in one quick shot, both slumps came to a halt.
Matheson scored his first goal since April 6 to give the Panthers a 2-1 overtime decision at Detroit on Monday night.
Matheson drove the rebound of a Nick Bjugstad shot into the net behind Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard at the 2:02 mark of OT for the winner, as Florida improved to 1-2 in OT, rallying from a 1-0 third-period deficit.
Vincent Trocheck also scored for the Panthers, while Henrik Zetterberg scored for the Wings, who are 0-5 in overtime.
Even though he was without a goal this season, Panthers coach Bob Boughner viewed Matheson as a valuable commodity in OT.
“He’s great in three-on-three, because he has such great speed and he moves his feet so well,” Boughner said
The Wings grabbed the lead in the first period. Ending a 22-game goal drought, Zetterberg opened the scoring at the 18:27 mark. Matheson blocked Zetterberg’s original shot, but the Detroit captain picked up the rebound and snapped a low shot through the pads of Florida goalie James Reimer.
“It was nice to see the puck go in,” Zetterberg said. But while he ended his scoring slump, center Dylan Larkin, who leads the Wings in scoring with 23 points, saw his goalless run extend to 10 games.