DETROIT, MICH. – Eric Staal and Brock McGinn helped lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Friday.
Single goals from Staal and McGinn as well those from Justin Faulk, Kris Versteeg, and Chris Terry supported a 17-save effort from goaltender Cam Ward to earn the team’s first victory of the season.
“We scored, we finished,” Carolina head coach Bill Peters said afterwards.
“We got one early in the game and then the power play goal I thought was huge – real good execution by them. We’ll take it.”
Recently called up from the team’s AHL affiliate club, the Charlotte Checkers, McGinn wasted little time in putting a shot on Red Wings keeper Jimmy Howard (31 saves), and deposited the ensuing rebound into the net to put Carolina ahead 1-0 just 55 seconds in.
It was McGinn’s first career NHL goal while making his initial start with the Hurricanes (1-3).
“He won’t forget that, now will he?” Peters said.
“That’s a heck of a play. He knows how to play and he does things right – an honest guy, good in all three zones – a nice debut for him.”
While the Hurricanes rookie forward started the game’s scoring on the undefeated Red Wings (3-1), Faulk and team captain Staal extended it to 3-0 by the 6:15 mark of the second.
Faulk’s goal was set up by Staal on the power play, the lone marker on three man-advantage sequences Carolina had on the night.
“What we talked about in the intermission was just stayin’ aggressive in an intelligent fashion – continue to play, continue to push and keep your foot on the gas, but do it intelligently.”
As the Hurricanes cruised along with their comfortable three-goal lead, it took the Red Wings a span of only 72 seconds to put together back-to-back goals that cut it down with 4:46 remaining in the period.
All of a sudden, Carolina found itself holding on to a 3-2 advantage with a tenacious Detroit squad in hot pursuit of tying the game.
With Hurricanes rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin in the penalty box for hooking early in the third, the Red Wings had a chance to convert on the power play, but were unable to as Carolina went a clean 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Led by Ward, Carolina’s defensive play managed to keep the Red Wings off the board long enough for Versteeg and Terry to beat Howard for their first goals of the season, and provided the three-goal cushion to earn the win.
Teemu Pulkinnen scored his third of the season for Detroit, following up on a two-goal performance and 4-3 win over Carolina last Saturday, but it wasn’t enough as the Hurricanes equalized the two teams’ series at a win apiece.
Peters awarded the team’s player of the game fireman’s helmet to Staal for his three-point finish.
“I thought he was excellent,” Peters said.
“I thought he found a way to lead and led in multiple areas with good things. He was good on the power play, his line was very good tonight – they were a positive factor for us.”