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Wings hope for better effort against 'Canes

by Eric Goodman
HURRICANES (14-24-7) AT RED WINGS (23-16-6)

Last 10: Carolina 5-4-1; Detroit 5-4-1.

Season Series: This is the only meeting between the clubs. The Red Wings won, 3-1, in their only game against Carolina last season back on Oct. 13, 2008 at RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.

Big Story: Carolina has never won a game at Detroit since they became an NHL team for the 1997-98 season. The last time the Hurricanes franchise won a game at Joe Louis Arena was when they swept a two-game series at Detroit during the 1989-90 season when the franchise was known as the Hartford Whalers. Overall, the ‘Canes have not defeated the Wings since Jan. 10, 2006. However, Carolina has a reason to be confident as it has currently won three in a row, marking its first winning streak of the 2009-10 season.

Team Scope:

Hurricanes: Carolina has resided in the basement of the NHL standings for most of the season, but a three-game winning streak is always a reason to believe a team is gaining confidence. A 4-2 victory at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday had at least one member of the Hurricanes beginning to think positive.

"It's just a matter of coming to the rink and competing," said goaltender Cam Ward, who had 38 saves on Tuesday. "It's finally time that we found ways to win. Even though the game wasn't exactly the greatest game, we found ways to battle through it at key times in the game."

Red Wings: Detroit had won four of its last five games before suffering its worst defeat of the season when it lost, 6-0, to the New York Islanders in Uniondale on Tuesday. For a club that is still on the outside looking in regarding a playoff spot, the loss on Long Island certainly did not sit well.

"Thank God that (game) was on the road.” said Wings coach Mike Babcock. “Hopefully not too many people were watching television."

Who’s Hot: Ward has a 1.33 goals-against average during the Hurricanes’ three-game winning streak. Red Wings’ center Darren Helm has compiled six points over his last eight games.

Injury Report: The Hurricanes are ravaged by injuries as defenseman Joe Corvo (right leg) and right wings Chad LaRose (lower-body injury), Erik Cole (upper-body injury) and Scott Walker (shoulder surgery) remain on injured reserve. Also on that list are left wings Tuomo Ruutu and Sergei Samsonov, both with upper-body injuries.  ... Forward Tomas Holmstron could miss up to a month for the Wings with a broken foot. Detroit is also without Jonathan Ericsson (knee), Niklas Kronwall (sprained MCL), Jason Williams (leg), Johan Franzen (torn ACL) and Andreas Lilja (post-concussion syndrome).

Stat Pack: Despite ranking near the bottom of the NHL for both goals scored and goals against, the ‘Canes have outscored opponents 10-4 during their three-game winning streak.

Puck Drop: The Red Wings are determined to turn it back on as they return home from a five-game road trip that actually saw them go 3-2-0. However, the lopsided loss to the Islanders is all that the Detroit players seem to be focusing on.

"We should be able to put up a better effort than we did," Henrik Zetterberg said after Tuesday’s loss. "There are no excuses. We weren't good enough."

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