Detroit’s fatigue continued to show on ice as they left the door open to be defeated. It was the Carolina Hurricanes once again taking a victory at the Joe Louis Arena with a 3-1 score on Tuesday night. A night filled with a lack of wins on the faceoff snapped what the Red Wings thought was the start to a turnaround.
The Red Wings big comeback on Saturday against the Canucks was just what the doctor ordered before their return to Detroit. Though they lost one to the Hurricanes there already, the Red Wings would hope for a better outcome now that they have the home advantage back to their favor.
Petr Mrazek got the nod for the second straight game, as he has been the last rock in place to stop pucks from getting into the net. His defense during Detroit’s overtime win was more than deserving to give him a home game. If he can withstand them a second time, there shall be a small plot for the Red Wings to make something into.
They earned a chance four minutes into the first period where a fight between Carolina’s Nathan Gerbe and Detroit’s Tomas Tatar gave the Red Wings their first power play. It was quickly negated by the Hurricanes who weren’t going to allow an early score. When they gained time with the puck, it was then that they out did the Red Wings on shots to the net for them to bring the offense that has done so well against them. They failed to score first in the period but did indeed hold the Red Wings from breaking ahead.
The Hurricanes played the second period with a show of patience, however never showing signs of dwindling offense. They kept the heat on the Red Wings while fighting back the shots that they caught. Detroit had troubles on the faceoff as the Hurricanes were winning more off the spot that caused Mrazek to get in action quickly at times.
He suffered a big mistake in the 12th minute of play trying to clear a puck outside the crease. In his attempts, the puck went off Victor Rask who easily went to the open net scoring his third of the season. Detroit had to do something fast as time was about to close out the period. After the TV timeout, the Red Wings took a scoring chance off the stick of Jakub Kindl. He fired the puck through traffic that went off a Carolina defenseman, on the goalie and into the net for his first of the season.
With the game tied through forty minutes, the Red Wings knew that more would have to be done on the rest of their game to show some force on ice that could help them control the third period.
They opened it a man down but gained an opportunity to play 4 on 4 hockey. Once it was over, Detroit went on the power play for a minute, but didn’t make much of it. With the succession from their PK unit, the Hurricanes continued to gain confidence on the offense. Fight for the puck behind the net, Detroit got a handle on it and moved it around the boards. When the Red Wings tried to redirect, Ron Hainsey was there to gain possession, firing the puck on the stick of Mrazek to put them ahead once more.
It was a lead that the Hurricanes held through the next ten minutes as the Red Wings were showing struggle to shoot some pucks in the right direction. The problem came, as there weren’t multiple chances going Detroit’s way that made the goal even harder to accomplish. A wrap around attempt from captain Henrik Zetterberg was killed off by the Hurricanes defense that looked really good in the critical moments. They gained a power play with four minutes left but nearly blew it with the Red Wings in possession of the puck. They went for a scoring chance in front of the net but goaltender Cam Ward stood tall to block it out. They pressured the Red Wings further with time falling off the clock.
Coach Jeff Blashill decided to go for the sixth man pulling Mrazek. It was the team’s last chance to make something of it but the second opportunities were never coming. It ended up biting them hard as Carolina got the puck and scored an empty netter that went to captain Eric Staal for his third of the season.
The two-goal deficit sat like a sour feeling in the Red Wings bench as they come home only to be disappointed by their response. While the season is still young, the Red Wings get another two days to recharge before they play a home and home series against the Ottawa Senators beginning Friday.