The Red Wings tried wearing their road whites at home on Monday night, but that didn’t fool the hockey gods.
Apparently, those white sweaters only hold their magic away from Detroit.
The Red Wings scored another win on the road tonight, in Florida. There hasn’t been a better traveling show on skates since the Ice Capades.
The Red Wings beat back the Panthers, 4-3, and Jonas Gustavsson made sure of it.
The Detroit goalie repelled one great Panthers scoring chance after another, particularly in the third period when Florida tried gamely to come back from a two-goal deficit for the second time in the contest.
Gustavsson was especially brilliant in the final minute, after Florida pulled goalie Scott Clemmensen. Why Gustavsson wasn’t named one of the game’s three stars is a mystery and a criminal act.
Henrik Zetterberg (welcome back, Z), Gustav Nyquist (eventual game-winner), Daniel Alfredsson and Brendan Smith scored for Detroit (18-13-9). It was the Red Wings’ 12th win away from home this season.
Detroit let the Panthers back into the game in the second period after taking a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes on power play goals from Zetterberg and Alfredsson. Florida tied it, 2-2, heading into the third period.
But Smith got the Red Wings the lead back, just 42 seconds into the third stanza. Nyquist added a goal just 38 seconds later to regain the two-goal cushion. Sean Bergenheim’s wrist shot through traffic beat Gustavsson at 4:27 to make for a hectic and frantic 15:33 for the Red Wings.
BOTTOM LINE: The night and day records and numbers for the Red Wings at home and on the road is surely one of the NHL’s weirdest storylines this season.
THE WINGED WHEELER SAYS: Gustavsson, whose play of late has tapered from his hot start, turned in a remarkable performance. He also got great support from his defensemen, especially Smith, who functioned as a second goalie during some crazy scrambles in front of the net. It was also great to see Zetterberg return from his back injury. His goal, a wicked wrister over Clemmensen’s shoulder, signaled that there was little if any rust after missing about three weeks or so.