It started out looking like a game where nothing was going to go right for the Red Wings, but three goals within 6:48 late in the third period changed that perception and brought the Wings to a 4-4 tie with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Pavel Brendl started the Hurricanes off early, putting a hard wrist shot over Curtis Joseph‘s catching glove just 2:37 into the game.
With that, Carolina’s usually anemic offense was off and running. Radim Vrbata scored a power play goal similar to Brendl’s with 8:20 left in the first””another laser of a wrist shot high over the catching glove.
Rod Brind’Amour put the Hurricanes up by three with 3:25 left before the first intermission. Jiri Fischer‘s pass didn’t clear the Red Wings’ blue line. Vrbata intercepted the puck and sent it across the slot to Brind’Amour, who deked neatly around Joseph before sliding the puck in low.
The Red Wings, meanwhile, were having trouble. Their passes weren’t reaching the intended recipients, they were missing defensive coverages, and, while they managed to pepper Carolina goalie Kevin Weekes with plenty of shots, their best scoring chances wound up going wide of the net or being deflected away.
Manny Legace came in for Joseph to start the second period. The Red Wings gained a four minute power play early when Niclas Wallin was given a double minor for high-sticking Brendan Shanahan, and things were starting to look up.
Things looked even better when Henrik Zetterberg tipped Ray Whitney‘s left point shot past Weekes just as the power play was about to expire, but the momentum from that goal was short-lived. Sean Hill managed to slide the puck between Legace’s shin pads just 24 seconds after Zetterberg’s goal.
Detroit started to look better early in the third. They forced Weekes to make some big saves, particularly a shot followed by a rebound shot from Brett Hull and Ray Whitney.
Finally, with 10:09 left in regulation, everything started to click into place. Shanahan centered a pass from the right corner through the goal crease. Weekes came out a little to poke it away, but he gave it directly to Tomas Holmstrom. Holmstrom made no mistake, whipping the puck into the open space of the net for his tenth goal of the season.
The Wings got another power play chance when Bob Boughner was given a high-sticking penalty. Once again, the Two Kids and Old Goat line came through in the crunch. Pavel Datsyuk threaded a pass to Hull in the slot, and Hull one-timed the puck towards the net. Zetterberg deflected it in mid-air, and the puck squeezed past Weekes.
Holmstrom tied the game up with 3:21 left in regulation. He came up the left side and one-timed a shot off Shanahan’s pass.
Neither team had very much of a scoring chance in overtime. The Red Wings got a four on three power play when Jeff O’Neill was called for hooking, but by then only thirty seconds remained, and no one was able to put the puck past Weekes again.
Detroit outshot Carolina by a count of 44 to 18. The Red Wings’ next game will be Tuesday night, when they travel to Nashville to play the Predators.
Darren McCarty played his first game after missing nearly three months with a back injury. He played a total of 7:31 and had one shot on net”¦. Steve Thomas, however, will be out for a few weeks with a rib injury aggravated Thursday night against New Jersey”¦. Equipment manager Paul Boyer had to get four staples in his head after being hit by the puck behind the bench during the first period.