DETROIT -- Sebastian Aho had two goals and an assist, and the Carolina Hurricanes gained in the Eastern Conference wild-card race with a 5-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday.
Morgan Geekie scored again for Carolina (38-25-5), which has won three in a row and is tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first wild card, one point ahead of the New York Islanders.
"That was a game where you look at the standings and you expect to win, but you still have to respect the game," Hurricanes forward Justin Williams said. "We still had to go out there and work against a scrappy team that's fighting against you."
[WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Red Wings highlights]
Petr Mrazek made 23 saves in his return after missing the previous six games because of a concussion/neck injury.
"You could tell he was going to be solid right from the start," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "That's what we needed from him, plus he added some really big saves."
Jonathan Bernier made 31 saves for Detroit (17-49-5), which had won two straight but is 3-10-1 in its past 14 games. The Red Wings allowed three goals on specials teams in the third period, two to the Hurricanes power play and one shorthanded.
"I thought we played fairly well for 40 minutes, but the specialty teams obviously weren't good enough in the third period," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "That's the difference in the game."
Geekie gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead at 8:58 of the first period on a give-and-go with Warren Foegele. Geekie has three goals in his first two NHL games since being called up March 7.
"He's obviously got some skills and he has a lot of confidence," Brind'Amour said. "He's just going out there and ripping the puck."
Video: CAR@DET: Geekie buries return feed from Foegele
Tyler Bertuzzi tied it 1-1 at 13:28 with a redirection of Anthony Mantha's backhand from the point.
Nino Niederreiter made it 2-1 at 9:30 of the second period when he redirected Jake Gardiner's slap shot in front on the power play.Christoffer Ehn tied it 2-2 at 15:26, tapping in Madison Bowey's cross-ice pass at the top of the crease.
Video: CAR@DET: Niederreiter deflects home Gardiner's shot
Williams scored a power-play goal at 1:38 of the third period to give Carolina a 3-2 lead. He has six goals in a five-game streak and eight in 20 games since returning to the NHL on Jan. 19.
"This is the reason I came back," Williams said. "I wanted to play meaningful hockey against the best players in the world. The first few games, I was playing on adrenaline, and then I had to work to catch up with the rest of the guys, but now I'm feeling good."
Aho increased the lead to 4-2 with a shorthanded goal on a breakaway at 4:23, then made it 5-2 with a power-play goal at 17:58. Teuvo Teravainen had an assist on both goals.
"We've played together enough that we really don't even talk that much on the ice," said Aho, who along with Teravainen is from Finland. "I know where to expect him to put the pressure and he knows where I'm going to be."
Video: CAR@DET: Aho beats Bernier on the break for SHG
The Red Wings went 0-for-5 on the power play. The Hurricanes were 3-for-4.
"We weren't generating chances on our power play, and they were scoring on their chances," Red Wings center Dylan Larkin said. "We had a chance to win tonight, and we didn't bear down on the power play and we didn't bear down on the penalty kill."
Video: CAR@DET: Ehn buries game-tying goal down low
They said it
"He was back on Day One. He plays the same every night and basically every shift. He might not always get on the scoresheet like he is right now, but he shows up consistently. That's why he's a great pro and why he's perfect for our group. He gives us veteran leadership and a guy who knows how to win." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour on Justin Williams
"Our guys need to bear down and make better plays. We got a little careless tonight and I think there are times when we get bored with making the simple play. We want to make plays that aren't necessarily there. You have to dig in and value the puck a little more than we are." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill on the power play and penalty kill
Need to know
Aho has four shorthanded goals this season, tied with Kevin Hayes of the Philadelphia Flyers, Chris Tierney of the Ottawa Senators, and Vladislav Namestnikov of the Colorado Avalanche for most in the NHL. … Geekie scored on his first three shots in the NHL. … Bertuzzi's goal was his 48th point (21 goals, 27 assists) this season, an NHL career high. He had 47 (21 goals, 26 assists) last season. … Luke Glendening played his 500th NHL game, all with the Red Wings. The forward is the first undrafted player to do so for Detroit since the NHL went to a seven-round draft in 2005.
Hurricanes: At the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-CR, NHL.TV)
Red Wings: At the Washington Capitals on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, FS-D, NHL.TV)
Video: Aho, Gardiner lead Hurricanes to 5-2 victory