For two periods, the Carolina Hurricanes played the kind of hockey game they wanted to but the Detroit Red Wings turned on the gas in the third to take over the game and defeated the Canes, 4-3 on Saturday night at the PNC Arena.
It seemed that everything was tilted in Carolina's favor. They were facing a tired team who had played and traveled the night before. They were in front of a near sell-out, opening night crowd. They were facing their opponent's backup goalie.
But even though the home team nearly dominated the visitors for two periods, the Wings were able to pour it on in the third period to salt away another win.
The first period ended up in a scoreless tie but the Canes had every opportunity to put this game away early. They had 40 plus seconds of 5-on-3 time, they outshot the Wings 18-2, and they dominated possession time. It didn't matter though as Henrik Zetterberg put his club ahead 1-0 when he out-hustled Jordan Staal to the front of net and wrapped the puck around Cam Ward to open the scoring midway through the second.
At the time, the Canes were out-shooting the Wings 22-5.
The Hurricanes bounced right back though when rookie Noah Hanifin made a nice play and notched his first career NHL point. The defenseman stole an errant Detroit pass just inside the blueline and skated it in before rifling a shot on goal. The puck took a wild bounce and Victor Rask knocked in the loose change to tie things up.
Just before the end of the second period, Ryan Murphy skated the puck to the side then fed a perfect pass to Nathan Gerbe in front. Gerbe made no mistake and the home team skated into the dressingroom with a 2-1 lead in the second intermission.
After two periods, they were out-shooting the Wings 34-8, but Detroit was not dead yet.
At 4:39 into the third, Teemu Pulkkinen got a puck past Cam Ward when it looked like the goalie left the post too soon.
Less than two minutes later, Pulkkinen struck again when he tipped a Tomas Tatar shot over Ward's glove hand. At this time, the Wings had picked up a lot of momentum and were holding the puck much more often in the Carolina zone than earlier in the game. They did not look like the team who played the night before.
The visitors made it 4-2 later in the period when they created a lot of traffic in front of the net and a shot from the outside lit the lamp.
Justin Faulk blasted a shot past Petr Mrazek to make it 4-3 with just two seconds left, but that would be it. The team was credited with a powerplay goal on the play, their first of the season.
The Hurricanes will try to regroup and prepare for their next game against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
- The Canes dominated for two periods as much as a team could, but they could not take advantage of their multiple chances. They also tried to create a presence in front of the net, but could not get inside Mrazek's head, who played a very solid, if not necessarily a spectacular game.
- The home team outshot the visitors 47-19, had 15 shots blocked, and missed the net 27 times for a total of 89 shot attempts for the night. The Wings missed the net six times. In the past two games the Hurricanes have missed the net a total of 43 times while their opponents have had 13 misses.
- Eric Staal had a team high nine shots on goal, Faulk was next with seven.
- Ward allowed four goals on 19 shots and cannot take the blame on all of the goals, but he was outplayed by Detroit's backup.
- Hanifin made a few very nice defensive plays to go along with his first point. John Forslund called him the best player on the ice for Carolina.
- Ron Hainsey broke two sticks tonight and also broke a stick in Nashville, (which helped to lead to a goal). At this rate he will need 150 sticks this season.
- The Canes were out-hit, 37-19 for the game.
- Riley Nash left the game with an upper body injury and did not return.
- After the game, the Canes reassigned Danny Biega back to Charlotte.
- Game Summary
- Event Summary
- post game interviews