Carolina Hurricanes Take Away from the First Game of the 2021 Season

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The Carolina Hurricanes faced the Detroit Red Wings in their first game of the season on January 14th, 2021. The game was a battle of two goalies, with three goals in the game. This slow-burning game still had a lot of action so stick around to read about a night full of penalties, solid defense, and an overall strong start for the Hurricanes

Hurricanes vs Red Wings Summary

The Hurricanes started the game strong, leading from the front with good passing, and strong defensive plays to recover the puck from the Red Wings. These strong plays led to the Hurricanes scoring the first goal of the game, with Nino Niederreiter netting the goal not even 5 minutes into the first period. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen got the assists as they made good on the forecheck to recover the puck.

The next piece of action came from a fight involving Dougie Hamilton from the Hurricanes and Sam Gagner from the Red Wings. The fight was short-lived as Hamilton took a decisive victory, taking Gagner down to the ice. This would help the morale of the Hurricanes and likely contributed to their win

Action in the game died down until almost the end of the third period, with a few minor penalties being doled out, but nothing came from those opportunities. The Hurricanes got a brief 5-on-3 power play as both Dylan Larkin and Patrik Nemeth took penalties.

While on the power play, the Hurricanes scored their second goal on a redirect by Ryan Dzingel. The original shot came from Jake Gardiner at the point and was also touched by Martin Necas giving the two players an assist. Hardly a minute later Andrei Svechnikov got his first goal of the season, scoring an empty netter from his own zone. This goal put the game out of reach and saw the game end 3-0 for the Hurricanes.

The Take-Away

Although the game may seem awfully one-sided from the scoreline, the Red Wings put up a solid defensive effort. Carolina had 41 shots on net while the Red Wings had only 14, showing off a deficit in offensive abilities from Detroit. This was able to be helped by Detroit’s defense, as quality shooting lanes were blocked, and passing lanes were closed off as each man was covered in the Red Wings defensive end. The new acquisition of Thomas Greiss for the Red Wings was shown to certainly be a strong one during this game, showing an improvement in net that allowed Detroit to not have the game to slip out of reach until the final minutes of the game.

Detroit will need to look to improve in the opposing end, with new captain Larkin hoping to contribute to better offensive efforts. Detroit will be hoping to get more shots on the net and build better plays and breakaway opportunities while hunting for their first goal of the season.

Carolina, on the other hand, will likely look to better their offensive game as well, hoping to land more shots in the back of the net, and set up a more solid passing game in the offensive end to help spread the defense and screen the goalie. Carolina was not heavily tested in the net, however, Mrazek looked to be mostly strong in covering his angles and not dropping to the butterfly too early. The Hurricanes’ defense was solid, recovering the puck well in their defensive end while being able to rely on forwards to set up a solid forecheck and recover the puck before any threat was made.

The shuffled forward lines of the Hurricanes proved strong, with Niederreiter on the first line allowing for a more even spread of young and veteran talent. A negative take away was the possible injury of captain Jordan Staal, who looked to be in a fair bit of discomfort during the third period. If an injury has come from this game it will be reported on as soon as more is known.

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Having written with Overtime Heroics for two years as a variety writer, Alex Sorichetti now serves as a managing editor with the company.