The Detroit Red Wings, on Tuesday night, extended their league-leading winning streak to five games as they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 4-2
The Wings dominated the first period, leading by three goals into the first intermission on only ten shots. Scoring chances were plentiful throughout the twenty minutes. Thomas Vanek scored his fourth goal of the season as he both started and finished the play. He carried the puck into the offensive zone before passing to Darren Helm behind the net of Carolina goalie Cam Ward. Helm then passed to a waiting Vanek in the slot. Vanek then one-timed the puck past Ward.
Dylan Larkin had only one point (assist) coming into the night. However, on his bobblehead giveaway night, he scored twice in the first period alone. For the first, he found himself on a breakaway following a long stretch pass by captain Henrik Zetterberg. Larkin skated in with speed before backhanding the puck over the shoulder of Ward.
“It was a good feeling, I guess a sigh of relief,” said Larkin. “It was a nice pass from Z to send me a breakaway.”
Soon after, he found the scoresheet again when he banked the puck off Canes defenseman Brett Presce which then deflected through the five-hole of the unlucky netminder.
“Yeah, I just, throw it on the net and good things happen,” he said. “It was a good play by Gus (Gustav Nyquist). I like the way he’s playing. He’s making plays and skating hard and creating turnovers.”
Carolina stopped the momentum in the second period with goals from Jordan Staal and Victor Rask. For the first, an unfortunate Red Wings collision led to a quick two-on-zero of which Staal scored over the shoulder of Mrazek. Forward Frans Nielsen and defenseman Ryan Sproul bumped into each on the defensive blueline, allowing Staal and Sebastian Aho the scoring chance.
On the latter goal, Rask wristed a high shot which Mrazek initially appeared to save. But the puck did, in fact, find the back of the net. Former Red Wings forward Andrej Nestrasil had the primary assist.
However, Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou regained control of the game. Fourth line forwards Steve Ott and Luke Glendening battled for the puck in the corner. Ott retrieved the puck and Glendening fed it to Athanasiou who faked a shot before sending the puck top-shelf off the cross-bar. He showed great patience and waited for his chance.
“Double-A, Glenny finding him in the slot, and Double-A with a heck of a release, bar-down,” said Ott. I think that’s what the Detroit people are going to see a lot for a lot of years, that kid scoring goals.”
There was no scoring in the final period although the Hurricanes pushed hard. Although Detroit led in shots 19-15 after two periods, Carolina led 16-6 in the third. With 8:38 left in third period, Viktor Stalberg boarded defenseman Mike Green from behind. Ott stepped in and received a roughing minor to offset, but a standing ovation from the Joe Louis Arena crowd.
“I thought Greener was a little vulnerable in that position,” said Ott. “Obviously they evened up the call. I think collectively we all have the same response in this dressing room. We try to take care of each other as best as possible on the ice. “
Detroit has now won all four home games to start the season.
“I know coming in how hard it is to play in this building firsthand,” said Ott. “You know, the fans, the support, the building, all the elements that come together when you play in Detroit.”
A Look Ahead
Next Game: Thursday @ St. Louis – 8:00 ET
Saturday vs. Boston – 7:00 ET
Sunday vs. Florida – 5:00 ET