The Carolina Hurricanes have been one of the NHL’s best road teams this season. They’ll look to continue racking up points away from home when they visit the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.
The Hurricanes have lost just three times in regulation in their 18 road tests this season, going 10-3-5. They’ve gone 4-0-1 on their current six-game journey, which will end Tuesday.
Carolina blanked the New York Islanders 3-0 Saturday as rookie goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov needed to make just 16 saves.
“That was probably one of our best games of the year, if not the best,” defenseman Brady Skjei said. “It was just the way we want to play. We forechecked, didn’t give them much, didn’t give them any chances, and really focused on taking the game to them. We played below their goal line. It was textbook the way that we want to play, and it was a great effort by us.”
With second-leading scorer Sebastian Aho and wing Jesper Fast sidelined by lower-body injuries, coach Rod Brind’Amour used a lineup of 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
“It was just a great effort. I’m really proud of the group, to be honest,” Brind’Amour said. “Obviously, we’re missing some good, quality players that we count on every night to win games. It wasn’t that guys stepped up –I think guys just played really well and understood what we had to do to win games.”
The Red Wings are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to Dallas on Saturday. They finished 2-1-1 on their four-game road swing last week but are 2-3-2 over their past seven games.
The Stars scored with 31 seconds left in overtime after a Detroit turnover at center ice.
“We have to manage the puck and be a little better in overtime,” Red Wings center Dylan Larkin said. “Points are there, and we haven’t always been able to capitalize on them this year. We’re thinking too much instead of playing what’s right in front of us, so we need to manage it, and I have to be a leader of that there at the end.”
Detroit’s performance was much improved over the team’s prior game, when it gave up four second-period goals in a 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.
“I loved how we competed,” Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “For the most part it was a good effort from start to finish. We earned a point. It leaves a little bad taste in your mouth that we could’ve taken the two points and got a little more out of it. In the big picture, we win the road trip, but it felt like we could’ve gotten more out of it.”
Lalonde’s team will have to do most of its dirty work on the road this month. The game against Carolina is the front end of a back-to-back — the Red Wings will play at Minnesota on Wednesday.
The journey last week began a stretch in which the Red Wings have nine of 12 games on the road. If they play as they did on Saturday, Lalonde is confident his team will survive it.
“We’ve been consistent with our game, especially of late,” he said. “The Florida game was an outlier where we hadn’t played that poorly in a while, we lost a lot of battles, and we didn’t compete.”
–Field Level Media