When Brock McGinn was recalled by the Carolina Hurricanes from its AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers earlier in the week, he wanted to make a name for himself in his first National Hockey League game, and in tonight’s game at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, the first of a 7-game road trip away from PNC Arena, with the North Carolina State Fair taking place, he would deliver, as it would take just 55 seconds in his first shift to score his first career NHL goal in the Hurricanes 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings to give them their first win of the season, after dropping the first 3 games.
“We scored, we finished and it was nice to get one early in the game. Then the Power-play goal I thought was huge, and it was real good execution by them(Hurricanes). So, we’ll take it.” said Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters on the team’s solid effort in the win.
The early goal was very important for Carolina, as McGinn was in the right place in the right time, when Kris Versteeg forced a turnover in the Red Wings zone and McGinn would kick the puck to his stick and stormed it into the offensive zone for the Hurricanes on a 2-on-1 rush, and his first shot opportunity was blocked by Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard, but he would get the rebound and knocked it home for his first career NHL goal to put the Hurricanes on top 1-0. “You always look to try to pass, I think the guy took away the passing lane, so I decided to shoot.” said McGinn. “You don’t expect to come into the league like that, but it was definitely a lot of fun.”
It would remain a 1-0 lead for Carolina until the second period of action, as the Hurricanes would get a power-play opportunity, which would carry over into that period after Detroit’s Teemu Pulkkinen was called for hi-sticking against Nathan Gerbe with less than 1:18 left in the first. Justin Faulk would one time his shot off a crisp cross-ice feed from Eric Staal for his second goal of the season to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead, and later in the period, Staal would make it a 3-0 lead for Carolina with his 2nd goal of the year off a rebound from a shot taken from Ron Hainsey off of Howard’s pad. But Detroit would come back with a goal from Gustav Nyquist at 14:02 to cut it to a 3-1 game, and less than 1:12 later, Riley Sheahan would score to make it 3-2, and that would be a key center of concern for the team entering the final period of action.
“The time out was about 5 minutes to go in the period, we wanted to make sure we got out of the period with the lead, started the period with a 1-goal lead, and we wanted to get out of it with the lead and we wanted to do that.” said Peter. “Couple of times we got caught, didn’t have enough guys back, so we just played the game hard and played the game right.”
Peters’ message to the team in the second intermission would hold true entering the final period of action for Carolina, and it would pay off as Kris Versteeg would score his first goal in a Hurricanes sweater at 6:25 off some good passes from Jeff Skinner and Staal to get it to a 2-goal lead at 4-2, as Versteeg’s goal would be the eventual game-winner, and Chris Terry would later add to that edge on his first goal of the season at 13:06 to get it to a 3-goal lead at 5-2. The Red Wings would get a late goal from Pulkkinen a few minutes later at the 13:52 mark to make it 5-3, the game’s final score.
Cam Ward got his first win of the season for Carolina, stopping 17 of 20 shots in his start for the Hurricanes, who will continue their road trip tomorrow night in Washington as they square off against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals(7:00 p.m., FOX Sports Southeast, Hurricanes Radio Network).
NOTES: Brock McGinn’s goal was the fastest goal scored in an NHL debut since October 5, 1989, when Alexander Mogilny of the Buffalo Sabres scored his first goal 20 seconds into his first NHL game…The Red Wings have now allowed 9 goals on the season, with eight of them coming from the Hurricanes…Carolina was 2-for-4 on the power-play on the night, while killing off both of Detroit’s power-play chances.