The Carolina Hurricanes are feeling good as they arrive back home following a five-game road trip.
They’ll be greeted by a little more noise when they resume play Thursday night in Raleigh, N.C.
The Detroit Red Wings will be the opponent as the Hurricanes try to extend a three-game winning streak.
“Our schedule is pretty tough,” Carolina goaltender James Reimer said. “We found a way (to win recently) and when it comes down to it, that’s what matters.”
This will be the first game of the season with fans in attendance at PNC Arena after the state government loosened some restrictions. Previously this winter, just a few dozen family members and friends were on hand for Hurricanes home games.
The Hurricanes won three games across four days, including a 4-2 decision Tuesday night at Nashville. That was a make-up game from a previous postponement, further jamming Carolina’s slate.
The Hurricanes came home with a sense that Reimer and fellow goalie Alex Nedeljkovic could do enough until Petr Mrazek returns from an injury.
“Every team is going to have a goalie come up big,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
There are positive developments on the offensive end as well. Vincent Trocheck has posted a goal in each of the past three games, boosting his total to 12 — the most in his first 21 outings of a season in his career.
Steven Lorentz notched his first NHL goal on Tuesday. He had come close in recent games, so this was a breakthrough he was seeking. He said the confidence the coaching staff and teammates have in him has been special.
“(Brind’Amour) believes in you, that you can go out there and get the job done,” Lorentz said.
The Red Wings haven’t finished the job the past two games, losing twice while giving up a total of 11 goals.
“It’s a league where things can change fast,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said.
That’s what the Red Wings need. They haven’t found ways to reverse momentum when it’s going against them.
“We lost too many battles,” Red Wings center Luke Glendening said. “We can’t let one mistake compound into more. … We have to find a way within ourselves to stop the snowball effect when something goes wrong.”
Detroit is trying to avoid a second three-game skid in the past month.
“We have to respond when we get scored on like that with some solid hockey,” Blashill said. “We have to make sure we dig in there.”
This Detroit-Carolina game will mark the first NHL meeting between brothers Evgeny Svechnikov of the Red Wings and Andrei Svechnikov of the Hurricanes. The Detroit player is the older of the wingers, although the Carolina player has played in 172 career games compared to 23 for his brother.
Blashill said captain Dylan Larkin, who hasn’t played since Feb. 25 because of an upper-body injury, isn’t on the trip, so he’ll miss another game Thursday. The center is second on the Red Wings with 11 points.
This will be the first time the teams meet in Raleigh this season. They split two games to open the season in January.
This is the opener of a four-game homestand for the Hurricanes.
–Field Level Media