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January 31, 2003 - Wings tie Panthers
My Kris Draper Page

Friday, January 31, 2003

Red Wings 2, Panthers 2

Wings tie Panthers

David Guralnick / The Detroit News

Red Wings Kris Draper, left, and Darren McCarty celebrate McCarty's second-period goal.

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DETROIT -- The All-Star break comes at an ideal time for the Red Wings, who completed a month of frustration because of key injuries and inconsistent play with a sloppy performance Thursday night against Florida.

The Wings and Panthers tied, 2-2, in overtime at Joe Louis Arena to finish the month 5-7-1-1. Brett Hull, stuck on goal No. 699, had 10 shots, including an excellent opportunity for the winner with 38 seconds to go in overtime.

"It's been a grind this month," said Wings Coach Dave Lewis, adding that his team did not play with enough emotion against the Panthers. "I am annoyed. It's a situation where I think we can do more. We can be more committed to the detail things.

"I expect more from this team. I'm going to demand more after the break. (The month) has been hard on everybody, physically, emotionally, team-wise, standing-wise, everything. It's a month I'm glad we're rid of."

The Wings got goals from Pavel Datsyuk on a power play in the first period and from Darren McCarty in the second. Florida's goals came from Andreas Lilja and Viktor Kozlov, who made it 2-2 seven minutes into the third period by beating Manny Legace.

Goalie Curtis Joseph was on the bench for the second straight game and expressed his displeasure about the decision before the game. Legace stopped 35 shots.

"They shocked us coming out as strong as they did," said Legace, who was beaten by Lilja on a fluky deflection off McCarty's stick. "They attacked the whole game."

Many of Hull's shots were near-misses and the crowd grew louder each time in anticipation of goal No. 700. He has gone four games without a goal.