The Carolina Hurricanes will leave Detroit with their six game unbeaten streak snapped, as they lost to the Red Wings, 4-3. The Hurricanes have not won a game at Joe Louis Arena since November 14, 1989, when they were still playing as the Hartford Whalers.
With Detroit’s loss on Saturday night to the Los Angeles Kings, and with Tomas Holmstrom back in the lineup after missing five games with a wrist injury, Scotty Bowman rearranged the forward lines to generate more offense. However, it was the power play, not the regular five-on-five, that got the Wings their first goal of the game.
Two power play opportunities had already been broken up by the Hurricanes’ penalty killers, when defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was called for tripping with 1:21 left in the first period. It took exactly three seconds for Steve Yzerman to win the faceoff and get the puck back to Nicklas Lidstrom, for Lidstrom to pass along the blue line to Sergei Fedorov, and for Fedorov to fire hard from the right point to beat goaltender Artus Irbe.
Detroit scored again 7:35 into the second period. Fedorov got the puck from Yzerman, then faked out Irbe by passing instead of shooting. Brendan Shanahan picked up the pass and shot it past Irbe to score his eleventh goal of the season, moving past Luc Robitaille for the team lead in goals.
The Red Wings continued to pressure the Hurricanes, and were rewarded with another power play when Bates Battaglia was sent to the box for tripping with 9:31 left in the period. They scored only twenty-five seconds later, when Yzerman got the pass from Lidstrom and fired hard from the left point. It was first announced that this was Yzerman’s 650th career goal, but upon review, it was discovered that the puck had banked in off of Holmstrom’s skate, giving him credit for the goal.
Not done yet, Mathieu Dandenault got the Wings their fourth goal of the evening with 7:21 left in the second. Carolina’s goalie and defense were covering Holmstrom and Igor Larionov, and Dandenault was able to sneak up and flip the puck into the net.
With only 3:08 before intermission, Battaglia hit Larionov from behind. Darren McCarty, not being one to let people get away with such things, jumped to his teammates defense, and came away with a two minute minor penalty for instigating, a five minute major for fighting, and a ten minute misconduct. Battaglia was given two minutes for roughing, so it was the five minute penalty which needed to be killed off by the Red Wings.
Detroit succeeded in keeping Carolina from scoring on McCarty’s penalty, which bridged the second and third periods. The Hurricanes came back hard in the third period, though. Niklas Wallin was able to score 7:31 into the period, and Martin Gelinas scored only twenty-nine seconds later, beating Dominik Hasek directly off an offensive zone faceoff.
Carolina was able to bring the score within one with only 2:32 left in the game, when Shanahan was in the penalty box for interference. They pulled Irbe from the net with 1:17 left, but the Red Wings kept the Hurricanes from scoring again.
Shots on goal were even at twenty-four per side. Thirteen of Carolina’s shots came in the third period. Detroit scored on two of five power plays, and the Hurricanes scored on one of four.
The Red Wings will play again Friday night, when they host the Minnesota Wild.