RALEIGH — It looked like the Carolina Hurricanes would parlay a dominant second period into a win over the weary Red Wings on Saturday to start a six-game homestand on a positive note.
But Anthony Mantha and Detroit had other ideas, rallying for a third straight come-from-behind victory with a 4-3 shootout win in front of 13,029 at PNC Arena.
Mantha twice beat Carolina goalie Scott Darling (29 saves) in a span of 2:58 in the third frame, the second coming with 10:58 left in regulation when his shot struck Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce and returned to his stick for a quick second effort that tied the game and forced the eventual overtime.
“It’s one of those weird ones,” Darling said of Mantha’s second goal. “They shoot it, you go down, you think it’s dead, you’re getting up and he shoots again. The physics don’t really work out when you’re going up and trying to go back down. That was one of those goals.”
And while Darling — who appeared on track to earn his first consecutive wins since joining the Hurricanes last season — lamented the bad luck on the final goal, he still shouldered blame for the loss.
“I’ve got to make a save there in the third period to keep at least 3-2 or, better off, 3-1,” he said. “That’s a tough one to lose.”
Particularly tough, considering Carolina outshot Detroit 52-32 and dominated the second period after a deadlocked first that saw the teams tied on goals by Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou and the Hurricanes’ Brock McGinn.
Then came the second, where Carolina seemed to assert itself and seize control against a team won in overtime the night before and then traveled to Raleigh. But despite scoring twice on Detroit goalie Jonathan Bernier (49 saves) — first a power-play goal by Micheal Ferland, followed by a Dougie Hamilton rebound goal — the two-goal cushion didn’t prove to be enough.
“When you have a period like we had in the second, you need to put the team away,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We’re just not getting enough out of it, and I think that’s what coming back to haunt us.”
Mantha first scored at 6:04 of the third off the rush, ripping a wrister past Darling, and then again less than three minutes later to tie it.
The Hurricanes mounted no offense in overtime and were spared an earlier defeat only because Darling made successive highlight-reel stops, first on Mantha’s hat trick bid and then Mike Green’s follow-up.
“You’re just battling at that point,” Darling said. “Overtime’s crazy, but it’s tough. We shouldn’t have been there.”
The Hurricanes managed to win the special teams battle, scoring once on the power play and surviving two penalty kills, but a third-period opportunity with the man advantage was stagnant and allowed the game to go past regulation.
“To me, if we lose it doesn’t matter,” Aho said when asked if the improved power play and penalty kill were a silver lining in defeat. “It’s not special teams against special teams. It’s Carolina versus Detroit, and we lost.”
Notes: Pesce briefly left the game in the first after a knee-to-knee hit by Detroit’s Michael Rasmussen, but was able to return. … Aho and Teuvo Teravainen had two assists each. … Jaccob Slavin, Aho and McGinn failed their shootout attempts. … Phil Di Giuseppe (assist) has points in each of his games since being recalled from Charlotte of the AHL. … Lucas Wallmark had a game- and career-high eight shots on goal.