DETROIT, MICH. – The Carolina Hurricanes ended their season-opening road trip with a 4-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.
With the facility operating for its last season, Carolina’s final visit there was recorded as a shortfall that dropped the team’s record to 1-3-2 overall.
Dylan Larkin’s two first-period goals led a Detroit offensive attack that caught the visitors off-guard from the opening puck drop.
“They were quicker than us early; that was apparent,“ Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters said.
“They had some odd-man rushes – a few we would like back. (There were) too many easy goals; too many soft plays.”
Trailing 3-0 following the first period, Jordan Staal and Victor Rask posted back-to-back goals to pull Carolina within one, while goaltender Cam Ward worked to settle down after a shaky start, finishing with 21 saves in the loss.
“Guys were quite aware we were in danger of gettin’ blown out,” Peters continued.
“You gotta man up and you gotta go to work, you gotta find a way. We started playin’ with a little more pace as we went along, and we became better because of it.”
Playing without forward Jeff Skinner, out with an upper body injury, Rask worked to pick up the offensive slack and pulled atop the team’s scoring list with his goal at the 13:12 mark of the second period.
The Hurricanes trailed 3-2 at that point.
Carolina’s efforts to tie the game was not enough as Andreas Athanasiou’s goal with 2:56 remaining capped off the Red Wings’ fifth straight win as both teams skated to a scoreless final period of play.
The Hurricanes return home to prepare for a home-opening weekend of play in front of their fans at PNC Arena for the first time this regular season when they face off against the New York Rangers on Friday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
Notes: According to NHL Public Relations, Rask’s goal against Detroit not only gave him four on the season to go with three assists, but made him the first Hurricanes player to start a season with a point in six straight games since 1998-99 when Keith Primeau posted four goals and four assists in seven games…As part of home-opening game festivities, NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the Hurricanes onto the ice in his capacity as the official Siren Sounder prior to Friday’s game… On Sunday, it will be Super Hero Night, part of an arena-wide Halloween celebration. Fans of all ages are encouraged to dress up and participate in various activities available before, during, and after the game.