Florida Panthers

Sceviour’s hat trick leads Panthers to first road win of season

Florida Panthers center Colton Sceviour (7) reacts after scoring a goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit on Oct. 30, 2016.
Florida Panthers center Colton Sceviour (7) reacts after scoring a goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit on Oct. 30, 2016. AP

Colton Sceviour’s tripping penalty cost the Panthers a goal in their 3-0 loss at Buffalo on Saturday.

The center got his redemption Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

Sceviour had his first career hat trick and added an assist, and the Panthers held on to down the Detroit Red Wings, 5-2, and earn their first road victory of the season.

The win wrapped up a four-game trip for the Panthers, who improved to 4-4-1 overall with their next game coming Tuesday at home against Boston.

Florida had lost five of its previous six games entering Sunday.

“Obviously, Colton had a huge game, career game for him tonight,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time for us tonight after a tough road trip. To get this last win for us tonight was big for our team.”

The Panthers didn’t muster a goal at Buffalo, but that only inspired their offense against the Red Wings (6-4).

That was especially so for Sceviour, who netted a pair of goals within 23 seconds of each other in the first period.

“Obviously, we weren’t really happy with the way [Saturday’s] game went,” he said. “We tried to simplify [Sunday], win battles and get to the net. That’s what we did early on, and we got rewarded for it.”

A penalty to Detroit’s Alexy Marchenko allowed Sceviour to score his first goal just 6:09 into the game, as he banged in a backside pass from Vincent Trochek.

“[The first goal] was a great play by [Michael Matheson] to get over there on the initial rim-around and keep the puck in the zone,” Sceviour said. “[Trochek] got the puck on the half wall there and made a perfect pass backdoor.

“I had the entire net to tip it in. That was nice.”

One possession later, Sceviour got the puck jumbled between his skates in front of the net, but he managed to get off a shot that beat Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek.

“I was fortunate enough to kick it over and get it over his pad and in the net,” Sceviour said.

“I think that’s just kind of a — I don’t want to say a panic play — but when you’re in a situation like that, you can’t get a stick over there, so you try to use any body part to get it to your forehand to get a whack at it.”

With 3:35 left in the second period, Sceviour banged in a rebound to earn the hat trick.

“It’s exciting whenever that happens at this level,” he said. “It just bounced the right way [Sunday], and it was really exciting.

“But the most exciting part [Sunday] was getting the win. It was a tough road trip with some games we should have won and some games we didn’t necessarily perform properly in. To end on this positive note going home was huge.”

Jonathan Marchessault and Trocheck each scored for the Panthers as well.

James Reimer saved 34 shots for Florida, as the Red Wings outshot the Panthers, 36-24.

“He made some huge saves for us,” Gallant said. “It wasn’t a 5-2 hockey game. It was probably a 6-5 hockey game or something like that, but Reimer was good.”

Sceviour’s effort helped Reimer face fewer shots, the goalie said.

“It was like Colton Gretzky, or something like that,” Reimer said. “He was a heck of a player [Sunday night]. I can’t stress enough that these games are tough when you’re on the back end of a back-to-back. For him, it just shows what kind of player he is and what he brings to this team.”

Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings in the second period, and Brendan Smith had a power-play goal in the third.

Mrazek stopped six shots before he was replaced in the second period with Jimmy Howard, who finished with 13 saves.

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