It had been a while.
But the Detroit Red Wings finally won on home ice for the first time since Oct. 15, as they held on to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes by a final score of 4-3 on Thursday.
Gustav Nyquist scored twice for Detroit, including 17 seconds into the opening period. He also recorded the winner late in the third period.
It was the slump-buster. Well, for now, anyway.
The Red Wings had fallen under increasing scrutiny for their recent skid.
Not only was this their first win on home ice in nine games, but they had also lost seven games in a row. It got a little close for comfort in the third period, when the Hurricanes pulled to within a goal with 16 seconds remaining in regulation.
“We talked about it going into the third period,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said, as per the Detroit Free Press.
“Let’s go play. Let’s not worry about nothing. Let’s play. Worrying is for some other kind of profession. We’ve got to play this game and play hard, and I thought we did that.”
Red Wings defenseman Brian Lashoff left the game after the first period and did not return due to the flu.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.