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Red Wings conclude homestand versus Panthers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to continue their resurgence at home on Sunday evening as they conclude a five-game residency against the Florida Panthers.
The Red Wings have won three of four on the stand and Friday's 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens gave Detroit consecutive wins at home for the first time since Oct. 12 and 15.
Henrik Zetterberg, Riley Sheahan, Niklas Kronwall and Gustav Nyquist all scored versus the Habs, with Sheahan's second career tally putting Detroit up 2-0 at 11:48 of the second period.
The former first-round pick of the 2010 draft picked up an errant pass and drove the puck into the net from the bottom of the circle for the unassisted tally.
"A good goal from Sheehan. Sheehan looks like a really good player," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said.
Jonas Gustavsson won his fifth straight start by halting 30 shots, improving the Red Wings to 9-11-7 at home and putting them into a tie with Philadelphia for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Detroit saw Daniel Alfredsson play for the first time in seven games after battling a back ailment, but remain without a number of injured players, including goaltender Jimmy Howard (knee) as well as forwards Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) and Johan Franzen (head).
Though Howard is practicing, he is not ready for game action and Gustavsson is set to start this evening's contest. He is 3-5-0 with a 3.09 goals against average in his career versus the Panthers.
Florida will aim for a better start in this game after a late rally fell short in a 3-2 loss to visiting Colorado on Friday. The Panthers outshot the Avalanche 20-6 in the final frame and got a pair of goals from Scottie Upshall to nearly overcome a three-goal deficit.
"We sat back in the first couple periods and watched their guys really carry the play," said Upshall, who scored the 100th goal of his career.
Tim Thomas finished with 22 saves for the Panthers, who were seeking a third straight win.
Florida, which opens a four-game road trip, was without rookie Aleksander Barkov, who missed the game with a lower-body injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Scott Gomez, with the veteran making his first appearance in the lineup since Dec. 28.
Thomas is 3-3-0 with a 2.51 GAA in his career versus the Red Wings, who lost their first two versus the Panthers this season before picking up a 4-3 win at Florida on Dec. 28.
Detroit is 3-1-1 in its last five at home versus the Panthers.
01/26 08:16:17 ET