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game recap

Hurricanes stifle Red Wings in season opener

Mrazek has 14-save shutout; Greiss stops 40 shots in loss for Detroit

by Dave Hogg / Independent Correspondent

Niederreiter buries Aho's pass

CAR@DET: Niederreiter buries gorgeous pass from Aho

Sebastian Aho passes to an open Nino Niederreiter at the doorstep, where he controls the puck and taps it in to put the Hurricanes on the board

  • 00:43 •

DETROIT -- Petr Mrazek made 14 saves for the Carolina Hurricanes in a 3-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings in the season opener at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday.

It was Mrazek's 22nd shutout in the NHL and eighth with the Hurricanes. 

"I didn't get a lot of action, but I thought they were in our zone a lot of the night," Mrazek said. "Our defense did a great job blocking shots, so I can thank them all for that."

Video: Hurricanes Petr Mrazek earns Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Dzingel and Andrei Svechnikov scored for Carolina.

"It's definitely great playing on the top line," said Niederreiter, who skated with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen. "I wasn't very pleased with last season, I expected more from myself. Being out there with them is a great opportunity for me and I have to work hard enough to keep that spot."

Thomas Griess made 40 saves in his debut for the Red Wings, who were playing their first game in 310 days (also against the Hurricanes at Little Caesars Arena). Detroit was not among the 24 teams in the NHL Return to Play Plan after last season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

"They had a lot of shots, but I thought our guys played pretty well," Griess said. "They were boxing out in front of me, so a lot of those shots were coming from the outside. I think this first game will do everyone a lot of good. There's stuff you just can't simulate during training camp."

Aho helped give Carolina a 1-0 lead at 3:38 of the first period. He knocked a pass from Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin out of the air and sent a backhand, cross-ice pass that tipped the stick of Teravainen before getting to Niederreiter, who deked Greiss from in close.

"I just made a bad mistake with the puck and it cost us a goal," Larkin said. "We were too sloppy at the start of the game, but I thought we got more comfortable as the game went on.

"It has been 10 months without a game and everyone was so fired up that it felt like Game 7 of a playoff series out there."

Video: CAR@DET: Dzingel scores PPG in 3rd period

Dzingel made it 2-0 at 17:26 of the third period when he tipped in Jake Gardiner's shot on the power play, and Svechnikov scored into an empty net at 18:55 for the 3-0 final.

"This was game one after a long layoff, so I'm not too upset about it," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "The effort was good and that's really key, but there were also a lot of things I didn't like."

Carolina outshot Detroit 18-3 in the third period.

"I think the scoring chances were either even through two periods or we were one ahead," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I wasn't worried about the shot totals at that point because we weren't letting them get many chances. But it was 10-2 in the third period and that's just unacceptable. We have to be better than that."

The teams play again here Saturday. 

NOTES: Six players -- Greiss, forwards Mathias Brome and Vladislav Namestnikov, and defensemen Jon Merrill, Marc Staal and Troy Stecher -- were playing in their first game for the Red Wings. Brome, who was making his NHL debut, had two hits and was minus-1 in 12:16 of ice time. … Mrazek is the first goalie in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history to get a shutout in the season opener since Sean Burke did so for Hartford in a 1-0 win against the Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 5, 1996.

Video: Hurricanes stifle Red Wings in season opener

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