Season opener a real dud for Detroit Red Wings as they get 14 shots on goal in 3-0 home loss to Carolina
By LARRY LAGE
AP Hockey Writer
DETROIT — Nino Niederreiter scored early in the first period and Petr Mrazek had to make just 14 saves for a shutout, helping the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
“It felt great being back on the ice,” Niederreiter said. “It’s been quite some time without a game.”
Ryan Ddzingel scored on a power play with 2:34 left and Andrei Svechnikov added an empty-net goal.
Detroit goalie Thomas Greiss made only one save before he gave up a goal, but stopped 40 shots to give his offensively challenged team a chance for two-plus periods.
The Red Wings, who were easily the NHL’s worst team last season, played for the first time since they lost to Carolina at home on March 10, 2020.
“Once you started playing, you stopped thinking about it as much and it wasn’t quite as weird,” Red Wings center Dylan Larkin said.
Carolina’s layoff was less than half as long because it played until late in the summer, sweeping the New York Rangers in the playoffs after the pause before being eliminated by Boston in five games.
“Game 1 after a long layoff, I’m not too upset about it,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “The effort was really good.”
The Hurricanes were dominant in the opener, outshooting Detroit 43-14.
“Not a lot of action,” said Mrazek, who was drafted by Detroit in 2010 and spent six seasons with the franchise. “But they were in our zone for a while and our D did a great job, blocking a lot of shots.”
Thanks to Greiss, Carolina didn’t lead by more than a goal until Ddzingel converted late in the third period. Svechnikov’s empty-netter came about a minute later.
“I thought we played hard and kept it close,” Greiss said. “It was a good step in the right direction.”