A night after seeing their fans outnumber the home team's in Tampa, the Red Wings began their next game with an appearance by one of their former greats.

Gordie Howe performed a ceremonial puckFriday at BankAtlantic Center, and the Wings went on to punish the Panthers 4-3 to build a four-game winning streak.

"It's nice to go on the road and have people support you," coach Mike Babcock said. "Obviously there are a lot of Canadians down here and a lot of Red Wings fans, so it's great. There was a huge crowd last night in Tampa and then another tonight with lots of red and white on."

The Wings have a devoted following because of their winning ways, which they demonstrated this night by improving to 6-3-1 on the second of back-to-back games.

Todd Bertuzzi scored twice, and Danny Cleary and Pavel Datsyuk also had goals, while career minor leaguer and current backup Joey MacDonald made 29 saves playing in front of his dad, Leonard, who was along for the team's annual Fathers trip. "He's been having a great time all week," MacDonald said.