Carolina pulled three points out of a back-to-back series with the Red Wings at home, after winning tonight 4-1. The Canes tied a franchise record with the win, now sporting a twelve-game point streak and an 8-0-4 run that spans nearly three weeks, back to March 9.
Sure there were four goals, but much of the victory was due to Carolina’s defense. For a “motor city,” the Red WIngs sure had trouble revving up against the Hurricanes’ forecheck pressure. Playing their third game in as many nights, Detroit only put up six shots in the first 30 minutes of regulation, compared to the Hurricanes’ 18.
In the offensive zone, the Hurricanes were quick to the puck, making it tough for the Red Wings to get any rhythm started in the first two periods. Besides a Henrik Zetterberg dangle-and-shot, there were very few clean Wings attempts on goal early.
But the Hurricanes were a different story.
It’s typical for Carolina to create a lot of chances, but pucks fell tonight. It started at the 10:10 mark of the first period, when Derek Ryan dumped a puck back to Lee Stempniak, who fired one past Jimmy Howard from the right circle. Before that point, the Hurricanes had only taken one shot.
With under five minutes left to play in the first period, Brett Pesce lined a shot off the right pad of Jimmy Howard, which deflected to the stick of Joakim Nordstrom. Nordstrom beat him to the right post to make it 2-0. (Great advice by every coach ever: Pucks on net! Pucks on net!)
In the second period, Jordan Staal would guide the puck from the red line to the right circle and wristed one past Howard’s right side with 6:24 left in the period.
Detroit came back to score late in the third off the stick of Tomas Nosek, his first NHL goal (shock!) after making his debut last week. But Elias Lindholm’s power play goal with less than 3 minutes in regulation sealed the game for the Hurricanes.
Cam Ward, now 4-0-3 in his last seven starts, stopped 21 of 22 shots to earn the win, and Jimmy Howard made 28 saves on 32 shots to take the loss. Combined with wins by the Bruins and Maple Leafs, the loss eliminated the Red Wings from the postseason, the first time that’s happened since 1991.
Which meant a lot of sad Red Wings fans (and “fans”) at PNC Arena.
Rank the Performances
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how you think the team performed tonight. Upvote the players you think played well and downvote the ones who didn’t.