The Detroit Red Wings have discovered the secret of winning and it’s not having Nicklas Lidstrom back – although that certainly helps – it’s launching 50 shots on goal. That’s what Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward had to deal with in Detroit’s 5-4 victory Saturday.
Although Detroit ended up outshooting Carolina in every period, at one point this game seemed to be locked up for the Hurricanes. Carolina took a 2-0 lead on the strength of quick goals by Jiri Tlusty and Chad LaRose at the start of the first and second periods respectively. Henrik Zetterberg put the Red Wings within one with his 20th goal of the season, but Carolina fired back two power-play goals in under 20 seconds.
With 4:05 left in the second period, Carolina had opened up a 4-1 lead, but they did not enjoy it for long. Zetterberg scored again and Todd Bertuzzi found the back of the net before the end of the frame to allow Detroit to go back to their locker room on a high note.
It was all Detroit after that. The Red Wings outshot Carolina 19-3 in the final 20 minutes. With that in mind, it’s actually a small miracle that Detroit only ended up winning by one goal.
Detroit badly needed a ‘W’ after dropping six straight contests in a row. Their losing streak has all-but officially killed their chances of winning the Central Division title, but the fourth seed is still very much in play. They’ll try and build on Saturday’s success in back-to-back games against the last place Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday and Wednesday.
For Carolina, if they needed any more proof that they were not going to make the playoffs after Friday’s loss, they got it Saturday. Although it’s still mathematically possible for them to make it to the postseason, it would be nothing short of a miracle if they somehow managed to squeeze in.