Panthers coach Peter Horachek told his players before embarking on this critical four-game road trip leading into the final seven games before the Olympic break to view it as a seven-game playoff series.

That's exactly how it looked in the final, frantic 25-plus minutes of Sunday evening's remarkable come-from-behind 5-4 shootout victory over Hockeytown's Red Wings in venerable Joe Louis Arena to give the Panthers their third straight road win in the past week.

"It was a character win, coming back from 4-2, we stayed positive,'' said rookie center Nick Bjugstad, who tallied the lone shootout goal for his first game-deciding goal to go with three-game winning goals this season. "Hard work is paying off.''

With one more meeting in Sunrise, the Panthers have won 3 of 4 from the Red Wings — a team they're hoping to run down in the Eastern Conference for a wild-card berth — and have a chance to clinch the season series for the first time in franchise history where they've met more than once in a season.

"That's a character win. It's ugly, but we're collecting points,'' Horachek said. "We're finding ways to win and building resilience. … We didn't handle a lot of things very well, but we kept pushing forward.''