The Hurricanes hadn't won a regular-season game at Detroit since Nov. 14, 1989, when they were still the Hartford Whalers. They did win Game 1 of the 2002 Stanley Cup finals at Detroit, but that was their only victory of that series.
Riley Sheahan scored for the Red Wings in the third period.
Detroit has already clinched its 23rd straight post-season berth, and the Hurricanes are out of the running. The Red Wings outshot Carolina 29-19 but ended up with what could be a costly loss in the race for playoff seeding.