Panthers coach Peter Horachek uses his healthy scratches wisely, and as motivation for the benched player. So when he sat down Brad Boyes, the Panthers' leading goal scorer, in Sunday's loss to the Blackhawks, the veteran winger got the message loud and clear. Boyes scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout to give the Panthers a stirring 3-2 comeback victory over the Red Wings on Tuesday at the BB&T Center, for Florida's second win over their new Atlantic Division rival in four days. "I've got to do something to go out there and stay,'' said Boyes, who is the active leading shootout king with 35, including 11 game-deciding goals. "I was thinking score. I was surprised Pavel Datsyuk didn't shoot. He's the shootout king for me.'' Actually, Datsyuk, who had a goal and an assist in his first game back after missing the previous seven with a concussion, is tied for third among active shootout leaders with 33. The Panthers are now 3-4 in shootouts, while the Red Wings, who lead the NHL with overtime losses (1-8), are now 0-5 in shootouts. While Boyes beat Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard with a simple wrister, he was unable to match the skill and flair of rookie center Aleksander Barkov's twirling, one-handed forehand that got the fans on their feet. Panthers goalie Tim Thomas, who said he's 1 for 2 against Barkov on that move in practice, was enjoying the view. "I bet they're pretty surprised,'' Thomas said of beating the Red Wings again for Florida's third win in its last four games. "I got Barkov the first time because he didn't sell it as much as he could, but the second time he did it so well there's almost nothing you can do but bite on it.'' Thomas made 24 saves, not including 2 of 3 in the shootout. He stopped Gustav Nyquist's backhander to set up Boyes for the win. Trailing 2-0 after two periods, the Panthers, who generally save their offense for the third, did it again with goals by Sean Bergenheim and Nick Bjugstad to force overtime. At 5:00, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov flipped the puck toward the net, where Bergenheim deflected it past Howard. Barkov did the dirty work on the play to earn an assist.
Boyes gets shootout winner in 3-2 Panthers' victory over Red Wings
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Dec 11