It was the kind of game that fans love and coaches and goaltenders dread -- fast, up and down the ice, with goals galore.
Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour enjoyed it more than Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings. When the scoring ended Friday at PNC Arena, the Canes had won 7-3.
“It was an entertaining game for the fans, which is great for the game, but not so much for the coaching aspect of it,” Brind’Amour said. “It was kind of loosely played. But it’s also good we can win games like that. It goes up and down, a little bit of a track meet, but we were able to put enough in the net, obviously.”
Sebastian Aho had two goals and an assist for the Canes (9-3-1). Andrei Svechnikov picked up his fifth goal in the past three games and added an assist, and Brock McGinn scored his first of the season -- shorthanded -- at just the right time for Carolina.
Nino Niederreiter, Martin Necas and Teuvo Teravainen also got in on the goal rush for the Canes, now 6-1-0 on home ice this season. Defensemen Dougie Hamilton, who has a six-game point streak, and Jaccob Slavin each had three assists, giving goalie Petr Mrazek another PNC Arena victory.
Mrazek did his part with 31 saves and several were high-quality against a young, quick Red Wings team. He has won 15 straight games at home, including last season’s playoff games, and this one was against the team that gave up on him and traded him two seasons ago.
“He’s our backbone of our team right now,” McGinn said. “He holds us in there and he makes so many big saves that we can just feed off him. We’ve just got to use our skill and our speed to get out and put some goals up for him.”
Of the seven goals the Canes put up, McGinn’s was the biggest and the most timely. It came early in the third period with the Canes leading 5-3 and effectively snuffed out a potential Wings comeback.
McGinn gathered in a loose puck on the left wing, carried it into the left circle, then used a toe-drag to get his shot past defenseman Joe Hicketts and goalie Jonathan Bernier, who relieved starter Jimmy Howard in the second.
“That was a big moment of the game because it might have gone the other way and the momentum might have switched,” Brind’Amour said. “That kind of put the game away.”
Anthony Mantha had a pair of goals for the Red Wings, who ended an eight-game winless streak earlier in the week by beating the Edmonton Oilers. Tyler Bertuzzi also scored for the Wings (4-9-1).
The first period prove to be a warmup for a wild, unpredictable second that had pucks sailing at the nets and the referees doing extra work on reviews.
Svechnikov scored in a four-on-four situation in the first. It wasn’t a SportsCenter Top 10 kind of play, Svechnikov scoring from the low slot, but the Russian forward -- who had both goals in a 2-1 victory Tuesday over Calgary -- became the first Canes player to score four consecutive team goals since Eric Staal in December 2010.
Mantha tied the score with a one-timer from the right circle and it was 1-1 after one. Then the fun began.
Just 27 seconds into the second period, Aho scored on a tap-in after Warren Foegele, fighting for position in front, made contact with Howard. Blashill challenged the goal, claiming goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld -- and the Wings penalized for delay of game for the unsuccessful challenge.
Niederreiter then scored on the power play for the Canes, only to have the goal waved off by the officials. With Canes fans booing as replays were being shown on the new scoreboard -- the puck clearly getting past Howard and over the goal line -- the refs again went to a review and the goal counted under the continuation rule.
The Canes almost made it 4-1 when Foegele finished off a two-on-one rush by burying a shot off an Aho pass. But Blashill again challenged, this time for offside, and after another review the goal was nullified. It was still 3-1.
Then 3-2. But Mantha’s power-play score was offset in 26 seconds by Necas’ goal after a nice setup pass on the rush from Ryan Dzingel. And the second Aho goal made it 5-2.
Hamilton missed the net with a shot from the slot, but Aho was in the right position as a ricochet off the end boards landed near the post and he popped the puck in. That ended the night for Howard.
The Wings finished off a six-goal second period as Bertuzzi, in front of Mrazek, redirected a Dylan Larkin centering pass.
The Canes complete a back-to-back Saturday, hosting the New Jersey Devils.
“You hope we don’t have a lull,” Brind’Amour said. “That’s what you guard against, for sure. We had an emotional game the game before and played really well and tonight was a tough game. The score certainly doesn’t indicate, I think, the closeness of the game. You have to guard against letting up.”