Hurricanes hand Red Wings 1st loss of season, 5-3
DETROIT (AP) It took just 55 seconds for Brock McGinn in his NHL debut Friday night to help turn the Carolina Hurricanes into winners for the first time this season.
The 21-year-old picked up a neutral-zone turnover, broke in on goal and let go a shot that Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard barely deflected with his blocker. McGinn stuck the rebound just inside the post for a memorable finish to his first shift and the Hurricanes handed the Red Wings their first loss of the season, 5-3.
”I took the shot and it kind of bounced right back onto my stick and I shoved it in,” he said. ”You don’t ever expect to come into the league like that, but it was a lot of fun.”
His linemates Eric Staal and Kris Versteeg each had a goal and two assists and Cam Ward had 17 saves. Howard faced 36 shots for Detroit (3-1).
Justin Faulk and Chris Terry also scored for Carolina. Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan and Teemu Pulkkinen scored for Detroit.
The shots were 13-5 in favor of the Hurricanes in the first period, with Carolina still having 42 seconds left on a power play, but the Red Wings kept the score 1-0.
It didn’t stay that way for long, as Faulk pinched in from the blue line to knock home Eric Staal’s pass for a power-play goal at 3:07 of the second period.
Staal made it 3-0 at 6:15, knocking in another rebound, with McGinn picking up his first career assist.
”We should have won a game before tonight, so to finally get one is big,” Versteeg said. ”We’ve been in every game so far, but we needed to get that win.”
The Red Wings, having played well in wins against Toronto and Tampa Bay, aren’t sure why they couldn’t lift their game to the same level against the Hurricanes.
”Our guys know that wasn’t good enough,” said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, who took his first NHL loss. ”Carolina might not have played well in their other two games, but against us, they are winning puck races and puck battles.”
Detroit did come back with two quick goals. Blashill switched Nyquist onto the top line, and it paid off with his second goal in two games at 14:02. Just 1:12 later, Sheahan flipped a rebound over Ward to make it 3-2.
Carolina, though, staved off the pressure and increased the lead to 4-2 on Versteeg’s goal at 6:25, just moments after the Hurricanes had killed off a Detroit power play.
”We just talked about staying aggressive, but in an intelligent fashion,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. ”Just play the game the right way.”
The fifth goal came when Terry flipped in a puck from behind the Detroit goal line. It hit Brad Richards’ hand, then bounced off Howard’s skate blade and into the net.
Detroit got to within 5-3 when Pulkkinen tipped Dylan Larkin’s point shot over Ward’s shoulder at 13:52.
NOTES: According to NHL public relations, McGinn had the fastest first goal since Alexander Mogilny scored after 20 seconds of his debut in 1989. … Detroit’s Johan Franzen was placed on IR after having more concussion symptoms this week. Franzen sustained a brain injury on Jan. 6, missed the rest of the season, then played the first two games this year before having more headaches. His return date is unknown.