RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Vincent Trocheck scored twice in a three-minute span in the first period and Carolina defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1 Saturday night after Hurricanes starting goaltender Petr Mrazek left the game due to injury in the opening minutes.
James Reimer replaced Mrazek and stopped 10 of 11 shots and handed the Stars their first loss of the season in their fifth game overall and first of a two-game set in Carolina.
“Obviously we came out flying after that,” Trocheck said of seeing a teammate depart. “We got a lot of good looks.”
Andrei Svechnikov and Ryan Dzingel scored second-period, power-play goals just 1:39 apart. Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas each provided two assists, and Trocheck had one.
Joe Pavelski scored his fifth goal of the season with 10:24 remaining on a power play for Dallas.
The Stars, who were playing their first road game, went almost 14 minutes of the second period before registering a shot on goal. By then, goalie Anton Khudobin had exited after allowing four goals on 16 shots.
“We didn’t put enough pressure on them, clearly,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “They made us look bad tonight. We just need a better effort from everybody.”
The Stars had only five shots after the first period.
“We’ve got to be better,” Pavelski said. “We got what we deserved.”
The Hurricanes hadn’t played since Jan. 18 before beating Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Carolina had four games postponed because of coronavirus protocols.
Those were the third and fourth goals of the season for Trocheck. He also has contributed with penalty killing, aiding the Hurricanes’ reduced roster.
“Can’t say enough about him,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “To be able to play all the special roles is huge for us.”
The first was set up by Necas’ pass, with Steven Lorentz credited with the secondary assist. Lorenz secured his first NHL point in his second game.
Mrazek went down 2:47 into the game when he was bowled over by teammate Max McCormick, knocking the net out of place. After receiving brief medical attention, Mrazek skated off holding his right wrist.
“You can hear him screaming on the ice,” Brind’Amour said. “When there are fans, you don’t hear that noise. We thought it was worse. It’s still not good. I can’t tell you how long he’s going to be out for.”
Counting Saturday, Mrazek has played in four of Carolina’s five games. He was 2-1-0 across the first three and didn’t face a shot in the Dallas game. Reimer entered for his second appearance of the season.
Before the midway mark of the first period, McCormick exited with an upper-body injury. He also didn’t return.
“That looked bad, was bad,” Brind’Amour said of McCormick’s situation.
The team did not provide specific information on the injuries to Mrazek and McCormick.
Both teams appeared as if they were moving toward better health prior to the game.
Dallas left wingers Blake Comeau, who had been in COVID protocol since the start of the season, and Roope Hintz, who was out for two games with a lower-body injury, were in action.
“He needs games. He needs time,” Bowness said of Comeau. “… The other guys have to pick up the slack.”
By Saturday’s face-off, only Jesper Fast among Carolina players remained on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, compared to six on that chart less than a week ago. However, Jaccob Slavin, Jordan Martinook, Warren Foegele and Teuvo Teravainen remained as scratches.
These two teams, along with the Florida Panthers, entered the weekend having played a league-low four games. The Stars had their season delayed by COVID-19 issues.
Stars: Take on Carolina in a rematch on Sunday, the midway mark of a four-game trip.
Hurricanes: Take on Dallas on Sunday, playing their third game in four days.
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