By Jeff O'Brien

Mathias Brome scored his first NHL goal late in the second period, and the Detroit Red Wings held on for a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 20: Mathias Brome #86 of the Detroit Red Wings scores his first career NHL goal during the second period past Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Florida Panthers at Little Caesars Arena on February 20, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Patrik Nemeth also scored his first goal of the season for the Red Wings, who won for only the second time in seven games. Detroit rebounded from a 7-2 loss to the Panthers the previous night.

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“I had the same thing happen in my first year in Sweden — I went 13 or 14 games before I got my first point — so I know it will come when you keep creating chances,” Brome said. “I would be more worried if I didn’t have any chances.”

Alex Wennberg scored for Florida in the first period, but the Panthers allowed two goals in the second.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 20: Alex Wennberg #21 of the Florida Panthers scores a first period goal past Jonathan Bernier #45 of the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on February 20, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“I think we had a flat second period,” Florida forward Frank Vatrano said. “Obviously they’re going to be a hungrier team today with the performance they had yesterday.”

With the score tied at 1, Dylan Larkin got open in the slot for Detroit. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stopped his shot, but Brome was there to put away the rebound. It was the rookie forward’s first career point in his 18th NHL game.

Detroit’s Anthony Mantha hit the post on a breakaway with just under four minutes remaining in the third, but the Red Wings didn’t end up needing the insurance goal.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 20: Jonathan Bernier #45 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers with Danny DeKeyser #65 at Little Caesars Arena on February 20, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

There was a moment of silence before the game after the death of Sergei Tchekmarev, a longtime team masseur for the Red Wings.

“This was obviously a very, very difficult 24 hours for us,” Larkin said. “It was a tough game, which happens in this league, but more importantly to lose a friend — someone we cared about so much, and he returned that back 1000 times more with everyone he met. I tried my hardest and a lot of guys tried their hardest to come to the rink tonight with the same enthusiasm he always had.”

Florida opened the scoring on the power play. Wennberg was left alone in front and had time to stickhandle a bit. The puck eventually bounced back to him off goalie Jonathan Bernier’s stick, and Wennberg was able to slam it in for his fifth goal of the season.

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DETROIT, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 20: Alex Wennberg #21 of the Florida Panthers scores a first period goal past Jonathan Bernier #45 of the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on February 20, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Nemeth tied it in the following period, beating Bobrovsky to the glove side with a wrist shot from the left circle.

“We gave ’em two free goals, and to me, that was the difference,” Florida coach Joel Quenneville said.

The loss cost Florida a sweep of its four-game trip. In fact, it was the first regulation loss on the road for the Panthers this season. They’d been 6-0-1.

Bernier made 38 saves.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 20: Jonathan Bernier #45 of the Detroit Red Wings makes a save in front of Eetu Luostarinen #27 of the Florida Panthers during the third period at Little Caesars Arena on February 20, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

NOTES: The Red Wings assigned D Alex Biega to the taxi squad. … Detroit went 0 for 2 on the power play, it’s 12th straight game without scoring with the man advantage. … Florida had 16 shots in the third period.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Host the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

Red Wings: Host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

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