RALEIGH, N.C. – If you wanted to see goals scored, PNC Arena was the place to be on Friday night.
Led by Sebastian Aho’s two goals and an assist, the Carolina Hurricanes won their third game in a row, a 7-3 containment of the Detroit Red Wings.
Led by a 29-save performance from goaltender Petr Mrazek, five other Hurricanes (Andrei Svechnikov, Nino Niederreiter, Martin Necas, Brock McGinn, Teuvo Teravainen) contributed to an offensive onslaught that coach Rod Brind’Amour was reservedly happy to see.
“It was an entertaining game for the fans,” Brind’Amour said.
“Not too much from the coaching aspect – it was kinda pretty loosely played. But, it’s also good that we can win games like that. It goes up and down, a little bit of a track meet, but we were able to put enough in the net obviously.”
Picking up momentum
While the opening period showed an even 1-1 effort from both teams on goals from Svechnikov and Detroit’s Anthony Mantha, who led the losing side with two total, the scoring flood gates opened early in the second.
Aho started it all by tucking away his fourth goal of the season just 27 seconds into the period.
After Niederreiter extended the lead to 3-1, the teams eventually combined for six goals in total with Carolina leading 5-3.
McGinn’s first of the season on the penalty kill and Teravainen’s third of the year rounded out the game’s scoring while Mrazek and the Canes defense shut out the Wings during the final 20 minutes of play.
“We got chances for sure,” Detroit coach Jeff Bashill said.
“Both teams competed really hard. It became a bit of a track meet back and forth. They play that way a little bit – they’re very, very aggressive. So, if you can get pucks behind them, you’re gonna get chances. We would have too many, say, individual errors and we weren’t hard enough around our net.”
Getting to the dirty areas
Seeing Aho get on the sheet pleased fans and Brind’Amour alike.
Last season’s leading scorer needed a boost to help lead the team to a win like this.
“I thought he had a good game,” Brind’Amour said.
“I thought he was a lot more impactful. We’re gonna be hard on him because we expect so much, but I think it’s good that he’s gettin’ on the score sheet and he’s around the net, right? That’s where you gotta get to eventually if you wanna put pucks in the net. I thought he was better, and hopefully we see more of that.”
Aho didn’t deny that scoring “was big” for him.
“Not going to lie, it’s always nice to score.”
Can’t give up so many chances
While netting seven, Carolina relied on Mrazek to ensure that Detroit couldn’t match the output.
Denying any goals against to finish the game was a positive takeaway, and one that came with some caution.
“We gave up too many chances late in the second period,” Aho said.
“Petr made a few good saves for us. The good thing was that when they scored, we came right back. We didn’t stop working at any time.”
Notables: Carolina finished 1-2 on the power play, 10-41 (24.4%) overall…On the PK, the Hurricanes went 4-5, 41-50 (82.%) overall…Defenseman Jaccob Slavin posted three assists and reached 100 career NHL/Hurricanes assists…Svechnikov extended his goal and point streak to three games which marks the longest goal streak of his NHL career…Mrazek made his sixth home start of the season tonight and won his 12th straight regular season home start at PNC Arena. This season, Mrazek has posted a 6-0-0 record, 1.97 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and one shutout on home ice. Including regular season and postseason, Mrazek owns a 26-5-1 career record at PNC Arena.
Triangle Sports Network: 401-323-8960, @pksport