Detroit Red Wings back to losing ways after 3-1 home setback to Carolina
By PAUL HARRIS
DETROIT — The Carolina Hurricanes dominated Detroit through most of the game, but needed a timely block by defenseman Justin Faulk to beat the Red Wings and snap a three-game losing streak.
Faulk, who also scored a goal, made a crucial short-handed block on a shot by Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou with less than five minutes left and Carolina leading 2-1. Goaltender Petr Mrazek was down and out after making a big save on Frans Nielsen when Athanasiou appeared to have an empty net and a chance to tie the game.
But Faulk blocked the shot in the crease.
“We put ourselves in a tough spot. I got beat and Petr made a huge save on the back door on Nielsen,” Faulk said. “Then full scramble mode, everyone is diving around.”
Jordan Martinook added an empty-net goal in the final minute to seal Carolina’s 3-1 victory.
Michael Ferland scored in his fourth straight game and Sebastian Aho assisted on Ferland’s second-period goal.
Mrazek, who was drafted by Detroit in 2010 and played a number of seasons with the Red Wings, made 20 saves.
“It always feel great when you win,” Mrazek said. “It doesn’t matter which team or where you are, especially after the three losses we had.”
Athanasiou scored for Detroit and Jimmy Howard stopped 36 shots in the loss. The Red Wings were outshot 36-12 in the first two periods.
“That’s 100 percent inexcusable, to not be ready to work, to not be ready to compete at the start of the game through the second period,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said.
Athanasiou made it 2-1 with 7:58 left when he tapped in a pass from Thomas Vanek.