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Red Wings rally to beat Hurricanes in OT

by Kurt Dusterberg /
RALEIGH, N.C. -- After 10 years with the Florida Panthers, Stephen Weiss got an up-close look at the poise of the Detroit Red Wings. Then he finished the game for his new teammates in overtime.

Weiss, signed by the Red Wings as a free agent this summer, tucked in a loose puck with 1:47 remaining in OT to give Detroit a come-from-behind 3-2 win at PNC Arena, spoiling the home opener for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Johan Franzen drove to the net and was denied by Carolina goaltender Cam Ward, but Weiss tucked in the loose puck to cap Detroit's comeback from a 2-0 deficit after two periods.

"When you're down 2-0 and there's no panic in the dressing room, you know you've got some guys who have been there before," Weiss said. "Guys trust the system and trust the process, that it's going to take to come back in a game like that. Sometimes it's going to happen, sometimes it's not. Luckily tonight it was one of those games where it was good enough."

Detroit trailed 2-0 at the start of the third period, but Justin Abdelkader scored in the first minute of the period to make it a one-goal game. The Red Wings needed nearly all of the third period to tie it, as Henrik Zetterberg delivered his first goal of the season with 16.4 seconds remaining in regulation.

The tying goal came from a goalmouth scramble. With goaltender Jimmy Howard pulled for the extra attacker, the Red Wings peppered Ward with shots, first from Daniel Alfredsson, then Zetterberg.

"We just tried to get as many pucks as possible at the goalie," Zetterberg said. "I think I had at least two or three whacks at it before it went through. It was a nice feeling to see it go in."

The difference between Zetterberg's first couple of attempts and the one that found the net was just a split-second of extra care.

"I just wanted to take a little extra time to make sure that I got a good shot away," he said. "The first two, I didn't do that. I tried to aim for a corner, and it just went through."

The Red Wings played the kind of game they wanted in the first period, outshooting Carolina 8-4, but the Hurricanes went to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead. Radek Dvorak, playing his first game with the Hurricanes, chipped the puck over the outstretched stick of Howard at 13:30. Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincy appeared in position to sweep away Jeff Skinner's headman pass, but the puck slipped past him, allowing Dvorak to drive to the net and score.

"I thought we had an excellent first period," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We felt like we didn't deserve to be down 1-0, but that's the way hockey is."

Carolina extended the lead to 2-0 late in the second, when another newcomer, Nathan Gerbe, scored in the final seconds of a power play. Justin Faulk's shot from above the circles deflected off Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser and onto the waiting stick of Gerbe on the right side for a shot that beat Howard at 18:11.

Abdelkader put his team back in the game when he took a cross-ice pass from Zetterberg that bounced off Faulk and ripped a shot past Ward 42 seconds into the period.

"We knew we had to get that first one to get things going," Abdelkader said. "After we got that, we started to get more chances and we really came on."

Losing the lead late in the game was what the Hurricanes hoped to avoid. After last season's collapse that left the team 13th in the Eastern Conference, a win in the opener would have been a confidence builder.

"We went out and we were aggressive," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "I thought we had a really good game. You are going to play good teams like these, and the last five minutes, you have to get the job done. We didn't get the job done.

"That was a great measuring stick for us. A lot of positives to take out of it, but we've also got to learn from giving a point away."

On the positive side, the goals by Dvorak and Gerbe signal that the added depth at forward might pay dividends this season.

"Radek's not flashy, but he knows how to play the game, and that simplifies everything for his linemates," Muller said. "[Gerbe] is a direct player and he skates a north-and-south game. He brings out the best in Jordan Staal."

The Red Wings, now 2-0-0, flew to Boston for a Saturday night meeting with the Bruins.

"It's a real good morale win for us to understand that if you do good things, good things will happen," Babcock said. "Just keep on playing. It doesn't matter what building you go into, the team is good enough to beat you. It just goes to show you, you've got to have your A game or you're not going to win."
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