The Detroit Red Wings had plenty of new faces in the lineup and a brand new captain to kick off the 56 game 2020-21 NHL Season at Little Caesars Arena.
However, not much else looked different from last season for the Red Wings. The Carolina Hurricanes badly outshot Detroit en route to a season-opening 3-0 shutout win. Detroit fell short in nearly every area of play, making a relatively easy night for ex Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek, who picked up his 22nd career shutout.
The game marked the official debut of Dylan Larkin as the 37th captain of the 95 year old franchise. However, not much else went right. A turnover by Larkin early in the 1st period led to Carolina’s Nino Niederreiter tucking the puck past goaltender Thomas Greiss for quick Carolina lead. Carolina carried the play in the opening frame, outshooting Detroit 12-4 and generating good scoring chances.
The 2nd period didn’t begin much better for Detroit, who found themselves outshot by a 7-1 margin through the first seven minutes of the middle frame. Following not being able to convert on the power play, forward Sam Gagner dropped the gloves for a quick bout against Dougie Hamilton.
Strong forechecking on the part of Carolina prevented Detroit from generating any serious offensive pressure. One of the few chances they got came in the form of a slapshot at the top of the slot from defenseman Filip Hronek that sailed just to the left of Mrazek.
Carolina put the game away late in the 3rd period on the heels of back to back penalties by the Red Wings courtesy of a power play goal from Ryan Dzingel with 2:34 remaining. Andrei Svechnikov would soon add an empty net goal to make it 3-0.
Thomas Greiss, making his first appearance in a Red WIngs uniform, performed admirably in net. He made XX saves, many of them off dangerous chances by Carolina.
It was also a game of milestones for the Red Wings. Head coach Jeff Blashill coached his 400th career game, forward Tyler Bertuzzi skated in his 200th, and forward Mathias Bromé appeared in his 1st. Brome, who was skating in his first NHL game, showed his tenacity around the net during the 1st period by deking a defender and ringing a shot off the iron.
The Red Wings are back in action Saturday night once again against Carolina.