DENVER — Down two goals late, Jonathan Huberdeau and the Cheap Florida Panthers Jerseys didn’t play desperate. They just played determined.
Huberdeau scored 29 seconds into overtime after he tied the game late in regulation, and the Panthers beat the injury-riddled Cheap Colorado Avalanche Jerseys 4-3 on Wednesday night.
“We don’t need to panic, even if we’re down two goals,” Huberdeau said. “We’re good. We know we can come back every game.”
Huberdeau sent a backhanded shot between the pads of Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer for the win. He tied the game with 1:30 remaining on a wrist shot through traffic.
Florida trailed 3-1 with around eight minutes remaining. That’s when Aleksander Barkov picked a good spot for his first goal of the season, a power-play tally that started the Panthers on the comeback trail.
“Finally, I did something,” Barkov cracked. “I’m happy.”
Colton Sceviour scored a first-period goal for the Panthers, who went 2-1-1 on a four-game trip. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 shots, including a glove save near the end of the third period.
Matt Nieto and Joonas Donskoi scored first-period goals, and Nathan MacKinnon added another in the third to make it a two-goal lead with 12:23 remaining. The Avs were without two big offensive pieces in Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog due to lower-body injuries.
Grubauer stopped 34 shots, but couldn’t hold the late lead. Huberdeau scored the equalizer with Bobrovsky pulled for an extra skater.
“I just thought they were hungrier and playing a puck-possession game in the offensive zone and we didn’t close out enough plays,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “We have to be better at the defending aspect of that.”
Midway through the third period, Panthers center Jayce Hawryluk was reaching for the puck when he took a big hit from Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov that sent him crashing into the boards. Hawryluk got up slowly and retreated to the dressing room. Zadorov later got into a skirmish with Dryden Hunt. After being separated, Zadorov had words with the Florida bench before being sent off for roughing.
Panthers coach Joel Quenneville didn’t have an update on Hawryluk. He didn’t have an opinion on the hit, either.
“I haven’t seen it yet,” said Quenneville, who coached the Avalanche from 2005-08.
MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to give him at least a point in all 12 games this season. He matched Joe Sakic (1988-89) for the fourth-longest point streak to start a season in franchise history. The top mark is held by Mats Sundin, who had at least a point in 30 straight games to begin the 1992-93 season.
The Avalanche got gritty goals in the first period from Nieto and Donskoi. Nieto poked in a puck while falling to the ice, and Donskoi knocked in another one near the net to give Colorado a 2-1 lead.
Things turned a little testy at the end of the second period. Hunt stabbed at a puck after Grubauer grabbed it. Cale Makar didn’t like it and shoved Hunt. Then Grubauer pushed Hunt in the helmet. Meanwhile, away from the play, Nazem Kadri and MacKenzie Weegar began fighting. They both drew 5-minute penalties.
Given Colorado’s rash of injuries, Bednar juggled his lines — all except the third unit. Nieto, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Matt Calvert quickly found a connection that Bednar doesn’t want to disrupt. The trio combined on Nieto’s first goal of the game. They have a combined 21 points.
“That’s a game where we have to walk away with two points,” Nieto said.
Grubauer turned in a big save in the first period when a puck deflected off the skate of Avalanche defenseman Mark Barberio and was headed into the net. Grubauer swung his arm around to swat it away.
Makar celebrated his 21st birthday Wednesday but didn’t have a point. His nine assists in October were the most in a month for a rookie defenseman in Avalanche history.
Panthers D Aaron Ekblad had two assists. … Bellemare wore the “A” as an alternate captain. … F Jayson Megna made his Avalanche debut after being recalled from the Colorado Eagles of the AHL. … Colorado F Colin Wilson was scratched with a lower-body injury.
DETROIT — Dylan Larkin scored and led a defensive effort to slow down Connor McDavid.
Larkin had the challenge of being on the ice when McDavid was skating for much of the night and responded well enough to hold the superstar to one assist and three shots.
“I thought Larkin’s line did a really good job on McDavid until the second half of the third period,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Larks plays his best hockey when he matches up against other teams’ best.”
Jimmy Howard made 31 saves for the Red Wings, who won for the first time since Oct. 10 against Montreal.
“I guess it’s a relief for us,” Larkin said.
Larkin converted on a power play 7:41 into the game, lifting the puck from the front of the crease. Nemeth, who signed as a free agent last summer, scored his first goal with the Red Wings less than a minute later.
“We knew they were going to come out fast because of their losing streak, and then we let them get a couple goals early on,” Edmonton center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “I thought we fought our way back into the game, but we have got to find a way to score.”
A long scoreless stretch for both teams ended with 7:12 left when Leon Draisaitl scored from the right circle to pull Edmonton within one.
Edmonton had a 4-on-3 power play shortly thereafter but could not take advantage despite McDavid and Draisaitl putting shots on net.
“All their lines and their defensemen can skate,” McDavid said. “And, they do a good job of clutching and grabbing to clog up the middle.”
The Oilers entered the game as the Cheap NHL Jerseys No. 1 team on the power play and ended it scoreless with the man advantage for the first time this season when earning three or more power plays.
“Our goalie was our best player,” Larkin said. “We needed that.”
Filip Hronek added an empty-net goal late to seal a much-needed victory for the rebuilding Red Wings.
Mikko Koskinen stopped 25 shots for the Oilers, who have dropped four of their last five after opening the season 7-1.
Koskinen, who entered 5-0, gave up two goals on the first seven shots he faced before keeping his team in the game.
Speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou had a pair of breakaways for Detroit and was denied each time by Koskinen.
“It’s a heck of a lot harder to chase a game than it is to play with the lead,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “That’s just how this game is built right now. It’s frustrating, but this wasn’t a lack of effort. We’ve just got to find some scoring in our lineup somewhere.”
Oilers general manager Ken Holland, who left Detroit when Steve Yzerman was hired to replace him earlier this year, was given an ovation during an early break in the game. … Detroit assigned RW Evgeny Svechnikov to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and recalled Joe Hicketts from the Griffins. … Detroit removed LW Adam Erne from injured reserve and put LW Justin Abdelkader on IR retroactive to Oct. 23. … McDavid played in his 300th NHL game.
Oilers: Play on Wednesday at Columbus.
Red Wings: Play on Friday at Carolina.
Panthers: Host Detroit on Saturday.
Avalanche: Finish a three-game homestand Friday against Dallas.