Panthers aim to continue road success vs. Red Wings


The Florida Panthers can thank the Detroit Red Wings for contributing to their strong road start. They’ve actually fared quite well at Detroit over the years.

Looking to match a club record with at least one point in each of their first seven road contests, the surging Panthers aim for a fifth consecutive away victory over the struggling Red Wings on Friday night.

Florida’s among the NHL’s top teams through the first month of the season with 10 wins and 22 points through 14 games, largely because of its 5-0-1 road mark. The Panthers earned points in their first seven road games (4-0-3) in 1996-97.

“We’re feeling good,” said forward Jonathan Huberdeau, whorecorded five of his team-leading 20 points while the Panthers won at Tampa Bay and Carolina on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.

“It’s a lot more fun when you win. That’s what we’re doing. We’re playing as a team. Everybody is supporting one another. … We’ve just got to keep going. We’ve got two more games (on a four-game road trip) in Detroit.”

Florida’s current four-game road winning streak began with 3-2 wins at Detroit on Jan. 30-31. Since November 2009, the Panthers are 14-2-1 at Detroit. Huberdeau has two goals with 11 assists in 13 career games at Detroit, and 13 points during his last eight against the Wings overall.

The Panthers’ Sergei Bobrovsky has won five straight starts versus Detroit and stopped 56-of-59 shots while posting a road and home victory against the Red Wings this season. Teammate Chris Driedger split his two starts against the Red Wings in 2020-21.

One of the Red Wings’ four victories this season came at Florida, a 4-1 decision on Feb. 7. However, Detroit will try to halt an 0-2-2 home rut following Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to Chicago. Of the Wings’ six overall losses at home this season, two went to overtime and four were decided by one goal.

“It’s a challenge, there’s no doubt,” coach Jeff Blashill told the Red Wings’ official website. “You can’t be satisfied at close losses. But you have to look at (the) process. I don’t want to be satisfied with the fact that we’ve played fairly good, but we haven’t won enough games.

“We’ve can’t frustrated and take steps backwards.”

Detroit’s Jonathan Bernier stopped 24-of-25 shots against the Blackhawks, and has a 1.52 goals-against average while splitting his last two starts. Teammate Thomas Griess, meanwhile, owns a 2.64 goals-against average during his current 0-2-1 stretch. That began against the Panthers, whom he’s 1-2-1 with a 2.27 GAA in 2020-21.

Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin recorded a goal and an assist during the previous two home games versus Florida to conclude January. However, he has just one point in eight February contests.

Fellow forward Anthony Mantha has posted a goal in three consecutive home contests versus Florida, but just a goal and an assist over his last six games overall.

These teams will play again Saturday at Detroit.

–Field Level Media

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