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Hudler's career night calms 'Canes

by Lindsey Ungar / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- Two of the highest scoring teams in the NHL didn’t disappoint the Joe Louis Arena faithful on Sunday night.

Knotted in a seesaw battle for the first two periods, Detroit delivered the deciding punch in a four goal, 12-minute span of the second period for a 5-2 win over Carolina. It was the Red Wings’ sixth straight win.

“You don’t have to give them too many chances but they can score goals,” Red Wings’ goalie Dominik Hasek said. “That’s what they proved in the second period, but overall we know we didn’t give them too much and we scored five and it was enough."

Valtteri Filppula gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at the first intermission, but Carolina ended Hasek’s shutout streak 46 seconds into the second period. After a Detroit turnover deep in its zone, Erik Cole knocked home his own rebound over Hasek’s stacked pads to tie the game at one.

Johan Franzen tipped the game back in Detroit’s favor on the power play at 6:02. After a Niklas Kronwall-Jiri Hudler-Dan Cleary connection, Franzen tipped the puck by Ward for his second goal in as many games.

Cole tied it again less than four minutes later, also with the man-advantage. He sent a bullet through two Red Wings, a Hurricane and past Hasek for his second of the game. Cole now has four goals in two nights after potting a deuce against the Canadiens in Carolina’s 5-1 win
last night at Montreal's Bell Centre.

Andreas Lilja put the Red Wings ahead for a third and final time at 12:40 of the middle frame. Lilja’s left point shot deflected off a Hurricane over Ward’s left shoulder for the 3-2 game winner.

“I got to start to score more often, I guess,” Lilja said.

Hudler quietly picked up his best night as a Wing, assisting on Detroit’s first three goals.

“He’s been getting better and better,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Each night that I watch him he seems to be growing with confidence with the puck. … He’s got a bright future.”

And Hasek took over in third period, stopping all six Carolina shots. Hasek has now won three in a row after losing three straight starts in mid-November. He’s allowed just three goals total in wins against Montreal, Minnesota and Carolina.

“We knew this was going to happen,” Babcock said. “We’re going to go back and forth now for a while and let them both (Chris Osgood and Hasek) play. They’ve both been excellent.”

With the Hurricanes pressing to tie the game, Pavel Datsyuk added an insurance goal with just 2:38 left in the game. He raced in alone on Ward, deking back and forth before beating the Hurricane netminder.

Tomas Holmstrom added Detroit's fifth, picking up a loose Henrik Zetterberg rebound seconds later.

“We were up only by one goal for 15 minutes of the last period,” Hasek said. “You never know. You can make one mistake, you can tie the game, and the game moves to the overtime."

At the other end, Ward yielded three in one night to the Red Wings after similarly allowing just three goals in three starts.

Besides an overtime victory in Game 1 of the 2002 Stanley Cup finals, the Carolina/Hartford franchise hasn’t won in Detroit since beating the Red Wings 3-0 on November 14, 1989.

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