Sunrise, Fla. — For the first time this season, music was blaring in the Red Wings’ locker room after a game.
Saturday’s 4-3 overtime victory against the Florida Panthers resulted in the Wings’ first victory of the season after opening with seven losses. So, finally, it was time to punctuate the evening with music.
In this instance it was REO Speedwagon.
“You guys (reporters) have been around, it hasn’t been too much fun in the locker room,” forward Dylan Larkin said Cheap Detroit Red Wings in the lively locker room after the victory. “To hear that music after the game and see some smiles, it’s huge. Two points for us, and coming into a November stretch where we’re at home for a while, we have to capitalize on that. It was good to see us gut one out.”
The Wings fell behind — as they’ve normally done this season — 2-0 after one period.
But the Red Wings scored three unanswered goals in the second period, including two quick power-play goals, regaining control of the game.
And when Florida tied the game with just more than a minute left in regulation, the Wings didn’t sag, winning in overtime on Gustav Nyquist’s goal.
“We didn’t get rattled,” Larkin said. “Giving up those two early, the Red Wings a week ago would have drooped on the bench and the energy would have been terrible on our bench.
“It wasn’t like that. We battled, and we found a way.”
The message coach Jeff Blashill has been pounding is to take the game shift-to-shift, maintaining a short-term memory as often as possible.
After blowout losses to Boston and Montreal last weekend, Blashill’s message appears to be sinking in.