By Dave Hart
Red Wings 3, Panthers 0 – The Red Wings blanked the division leading Florida Panthers on Monday night, winning their second straight home contest for the first time since early December.
Pavel Datsyuk paced the Red Wings with two goals, while Henrik Zetterberg picked up two of assists.
All three of the games goals were scored in the third period as Tomas Tatar opened the scoring for Detroit with a tally at the 4:19 mark of the final stanza.
Detroit’s goaltender Petr Mrazek picked up his fourth shutout of the season, stopping 23 Panther shots.
The Red Wings are now 27-18-8 on the season, good for 62 points and a three-way tie for second place in the Atlantic Division. They are three points ahead of the New Jersey Devils for the final playoff spot.
Detroit will continue its five-game home stand on Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators.
Record: 27-18-8 62 pts
Tied for 2nd Place in Atlantic Division (6 pts behind Florida)
Tied 4th Place in Eastern Conference (18 pts behind Washington)
3 pts ahead of New Jersey for the last playoff spot
Magic # to clinch 25th straight playoff berth: 54 pts
Magic # to clinch Atlantic Division title: 65 pts
Magic # to clinch Eastern Conference: 81 pts
Next Game: 02/10/2016 vs. Ottawa Senators 7:00 p.m. @ Joe Louis Arena
Stats: Goals- Pavel Datsyuk 2 (8), Tomas Tatar (16) Assists- Henrik Zetterberg 2 (27), Dylan Larkin (20), Justin Abdelkader (13), Jakub Kindl (4), Brad Richards (11). Goaltender- Petr Mrazek W (20-10-4) 23 saves on 23 shots 4th shutout of the season.
Raptors 103, Pistons 89 – The Toronto Raptors handed the Pistons their second straight defeat with a win over Detroit on Monday night.
The Pistons opened the game strong, leading 24-19 after the first quarter, but the Raptors responded outscoring the Detroit 30-19 during the second quarter and 33-24 in the final stanza.
Kyle Lowry paced the Raptors with 25 points and seven assists, while Terrence Ross chipped in with 18 points off the bench.
The Pistons were led by Ersan Ilyasova with 17 points, while Marcus Morris added 14. Andre Drummond picked up another double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Pistons are now 27-26 on the season, good for eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They a half game lead over the Charlotte Hornets for the final playoff spot.
Detroit will host the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night before the All-Star break. The Pistons will retire 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups at halftime, retiring his jersey number.
4th Place in Central Division (11 games behind Cleveland)
8th Place in Eastern Conference (11 games behind Cleveland)
.5 games ahead of Charlotte for the last playoff spot
Magic # to clinch a playoff berth: 30
Magic # to clinch Central Division title: 42
Magic # to clinch Eastern Conference title: 42
Next Game: 02/10/2016 vs. Denver Nuggets 7:30 p.m. @ Palace of Auburn Hills
Stats: Ersan Ilyasova 17 points, Marcus Morris 14 points 6 assists, Andre Drummond 12 points 13 rebounds, Reggie Jackson/Darrun Hilliard 13 points each.