Ron Hainsey scored the go-ahead goal in the third period en route to a 3-1 Hurricanes win Tuesday at Detroit. Cam Ward made 25 saves and earned his third win of the season and second in three tries vs. the Red Wings.
1. The Hurricanes had the rare feat of scoring two unassisted goals on the night. The first came when Victor Rask intercepted wandering Detroit goalie Peter Mrazek’s clearing attempt and skated in unimpeded for an easy goal to open the scoring. The other was on Hainsey’s game-winner, with the veteran defenseman collecting an errant puck at the blue line and firing a slap shot past Mrazek with Chris Terry setting a screen in front.
2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it ... right? If that's the case, Noah Hanifin won't be back in the lineup Thursday in Brooklyn. Michal Jordan rotated in Tuesday, along with rookie defender Brett Pesce, while Hanifin had a chance to catch his breath and watch the game from the press box. The healthy scratch wasn't about Hanifin making mistakes, but with the Hurricanes putting together a solid performance without him, coach Bill Peters has a tough decision to make.
3. Ward improved to 3-4 on the season, and he has pushed his goals-against average (2.28) and save percentage (.908) to respectable levels. With Eddie Lack struggling mightily, Ward has a stranglehold on Carolina’s No. 1 job. The Hurricanes are coming up on three games in four days, so Lack will likely get a chance to right the ship. But there's no doubt this is Ward’s crease as November approaches.
Number To Know
1 — First period goal this season for Carolina through nine games. The only time the Hurricanes managed to score in the first frame was when Brock McGinn scored on his first NHL shift Oct. 16, helping propel Carolina to an eventual 5-3 win over the Wings. Conversely, the Canes have combined for 15 goals in the second (eight) and third (seven) periods. If Carolina can have the same level of success in the first period, they would be averaging 2.5 goals per game instead of the 1.89 (and that even includes a 3-on-3 overtime goal) they are right now.
Brett Pesce — Pesce hasn't looked out of place just two games into his NHL career. Pesce’s skating, active stick and positioning have kept him out of trouble in his own end, but it's been his impeccable timing in the offensive zone that has been the biggest eye-opener. No, Pesce doesn’t have a point in two games — in fact, he hasn't even registered a shot on goal — but you can tell he has an innate sense of when it's the right time to pinch or jump into the play. Just like with Hanifin, there will be some growing pains and teaching moments for Pesce. But both players are already proving they are part of Carolina’s bright future on defense.
Justin Faulk — It was a rare off game for Faulk, who had a game-worst minus-11 Corsi despite only having four defensive zone starts. He also fanned on a hip check late in the game, creating an odd-man opportunity for with the Wings with the Hurricanes nursing a one-goal lead. The fact that Carolina won without its top horse racing at full gallop speaks to the overall team effort.