HURRICANES (8-9-4) at RED WINGS (9-6-7)
TV: SPSO, FS-D
Last 10: Carolina 4-5-1; Detroit 3-2-5
Season series: This is the second of three between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Detroit Red Wings. The teams met Oct. 4, a 3-2 overtime win by the Red Wings in which Stephen Weiss scored the game-winner. They will meet for the final time in the regular season on April 11 in Detroit.
Big story: The Red Wings enter the game Thursday having not won since Nov. 2, going 0-2-5 since then. At Joe Louis Arena, their winless skid is eight games (0-2-6), the team's longest since 1986.
"It's just a frustrating time for us right now. It doesn't seem like anything's going our way out there, but you've got to go out there and work for your breaks," goalie Jimmy Howard said after a 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.
Carolina could be getting some offensive spark back; forward Jeff Skinner was activated from injured reserve Thursday morning and could return to the lineup after an 11-game absence due to an upper-body injury.
Hurricanes: Carolina suffered a 4-1 loss against the Boston Bruins on Monday, but was playing with goalie Cam Ward for the first time since Oct. 24. He had been sidelined with a groin injury.
"It felt really good to get back in the net. Dealing with injuries is not an easy thing. I hate losing, but in the second and third periods, I felt a lot better about my game," Ward said after the game.
The Hurricanes have lost four straight road games, and rank 29th in the League in goals scored, at 1.9 per game.
"That has really surprised me. One thing I was least concerned about before the season was our offense, based on how we scored last year and having the same players back and adding players like Nathan Gerbe," general manager Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News & Observer on Tuesday.
Red Wings: Detroit has not won at Joe Louis Arena since Oct. 15. In the setback Tuesday, the Red Wings also lost defenseman Danny DeKeyser to a shoulder injury. He was placed on long-term injured reserve Wednesday, meaning he'll miss a minimum of 24 days, or 10 games.
"You know he means a lot to this team. He's been one of our better players all season long," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said.
Injury report: The Hurricanes have three players on injured reserve: defenseman Joni Pitkanen (heel), forward Alexander Semin (concussion) and goalie Anton Khodobin (lower body). Forward Kevin Westgarth (upper body) and defenseman Ron Hainsey (flu) are both questionable. … Daniel Alfredsson (groin) missed the game Tuesday for the Red Wings. Stephen Weiss is on IR with a groin injury. DeKeyser is on long-term IR.
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