Wings Down ‘Canes in a Whirlwind

Red Wings netminder Manny Legace bounced back from a neck injury suffered Saturday night against Nashville to lead Detroit to a 5-2 win over the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.

Legace stopped twenty-six of twenty-eight shots in a game he didn’t expect to even dress for. With Dominik Hasek sick, Legace became the starter and shut down the Hurricanes.

Detroit jumped out to an early lead when Mathieu Dandenault scored on the rebound from a Pavel Datsyuk shot just 1:22 into the first period. Datsyuk scored his first NHL goal exactly five minutes later, flipping a backhand shot past Carolina goaltender Tom Barrasso.

We got two goals out of the young line,” Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said. “Mathieu Dandenault scored one and Pavel Datsyuk scored his first NHL goal. They give us a lot of energy out there.”

Brendan Shanahan added his ninth goal of the season just over two minutes later and the Wings carried a three goal lead into the first intermission.

The Hurricanes bounced back during the second period. Sami Kapanen took a pass from Sandis Ozolinsh to get a breakaway and score with 6:35 remaining in the period. Former Red Wing Aaron Ward also assisted on the goal.

Ron Francis deflected a shot past Legace 2:09 later to bring the ‘Canes within one. Carolina kept the pressure on for the rest of the period but Legace came up strong and kept the Wings in the lead.

Steve Yzerman put the Red Wings back in control, beating Barrasso at 4:10 of the third. The Hurricanes were never able to get back in the game, and Kris Draper ended it with an empty net goal with 1:19 remaining in the game.

The Red Wings complete their three game road trip tonight against the Stars as Brett Hull makes his first trip back to Dallas since signing with Detroit. Faceoff is at 8:30 PM.

A Storm Brewing

Part five of the Red Wings Reunion Tour 2001-02 takes place tonight as Detroit heads to Carolina to face former Wing defenseman Aaron Ward and his new Hurricane teammates.

Ward’s team holds the top spot in the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division after an overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday and Ward himself already has two assists and a plus-five rating heading into tonight’s matchup.

The Red Wings are coming off a one-to-zero win over the Nashville Predators in a game which saw backup goaltender Manny Legace suffer a minor neck injury. Legace could dress for tonight’s game. To compound matters, starting goaltender Dominik Hasek felt ill during practice Monday, forcing the Red Wings to take shots against minor-league call-up Jason Elliot.

Should both Hasek and Legace be unable to start tonight, Elliot would be forced to make his first NHL start. Elliot is 0-3-0 with Cincinatti of the AHL this season, with a 5.09 goals against average and a .813 save percentage.

Hasek is expected to start, but Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland acknowledged that any of the three netminders could play between the pipes tonight.

In the meantime, the Red Wings look to continue their road unbeaten streak. Detroit is 4-0 on the road this season, including overtime wins over the San Jose Sharks and New York Islanders.