The massive power outage here put some doubt whether Tuesday night’s game between the Panthers and Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena would be played.
Florida is sure glad it was.
The Panthers came out charged up after Monday’s stinker in Columbus and headed home with a win after holding off the Red Wings 4-3.
Although the Panthers sleepwalked their way to a 2-1 loss against the last-place Blue Jackets, they looked energized against a red-hot Detroit squad that had won four in a row and six of seven.
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Florida led 4-1 midway through the final period before the Red Wings battled back.
Roberto Luongo, back from a minor arm injury, kept Detroit at bay by making 38 saves.
“We played well ... played 55 minutes against a good team in a tough building,’’ said captain Willie Mitchell, who had plenty of pointed comments after Monday’s loss.
Added coach Gerard Gallant: “We had some great chances and set the tone. That was important after [Monday].
“That game was disappointing. I’m happy at how we came out.’’
Florida got another great game from the combo of Vincent Trocheck, Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Pirri as they accounted for two goals.
Down 1-0 after Tomas Tatar scored with Mitchell in the box on a double-minor, Hayes tied the score by pouncing on a juicy rebound off a Trocheck shot.
Trocheck made it 3-1 just 29 seconds into the third when Hayes picked off a pass deep into the Detroit zone and tossed it over.
The Panthers took their initial lead in the second when Sean Bergenheim scored on a nice pass from Jussi Jokinen that had goalie Jimmy Howard completely out of position.
Florida got its fourth of the night when Aaron Ekblad — from nearby Windsor, Ontario — scored his fourth of the season.
The goal ended up being the game-winner after the Red Wings scored twice in the final 10 minutes as Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist both beat Luongo.
“I thought we handled them well, and it’s nice to get this win,’’ Ekblad said. “They came back there and I remember growing up how good Detroit was at coming back late in games.’’
Tuesday started off strangely for the Panthers who came to the arena for a morning skate only to watch the place darken as the power was cut to large swaths of downtown.
Although electricity was restored to portions of the city by lunchtime, the arena and its immediate area along the Detroit River was dark until around 3.
“There was a concern there,’’ Gallant said before the game. We came here to play and I’m glad we are. It didn’t affect us a whole lot.’’
Center Aleksander Barkov was hit in the hand while blocking a shot in Monday’s loss at Columbus and didn’t play Tuesday.
Both Barkov and Gallant said the injury wasn’t serious, with Barkov having only swelling in the hand.
Barkov, who missed two games earlier this season because of a knee injury, isn’t expected to miss many games.
WORKING IN THE DARK
Although Luongo went onto the darkened ice Tuesday morning to work with goalie coach Robb Tallas, most of his teammates left the arena and returned to their hotel when the power went out.
Luongo said practicing in the dark might have helped him Tuesday night.
“I could see the puck when it left the stick and when it was about a foot in front of me,’’ he said. “[Tuesday night] it felt a little too bright. I should have worn shades.’’