RALEIGH, N.C. - It was asking a lot of the Wings for them to win three games in three days, especially with the last two on the road against a hot team.
Although the Wings started well, the Carolina Hurricanes broke out for a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-1 victory Tuesday night at PNC Arena.
With the regulation loss, the Boston Bruins' win and the Toronto Maple Leafs' win, the Wings are officially eliminated from the playoffs.
"You come to the rink as normal," Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "You try to do your best each day. In that case, it's no different. Obviously you want to be in the hunt at this time of the year, so that's new but it's not like it happened today. It's been pretty obvious for the last few games."
1. Tomas Nosek : Nosek did not play Monday night as Darren Helm returned to the lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury. But Luke Glendening had to leave after the first period with a lower-body injury of his own, opening the door for Nosek to draw back in for Tuesday night. With the team struggling to get shots, Nosek went to the net and scored his first career goal at 13:33 of the third period to get the Wings on the board. Ben Street and Drew Miller assisted on the goal.
Quotable: "I would say before I was close a couple times but not a lot of confidence with the finish. Make sure your mind stay cold and make sure you put it in. That's what happened this time. So happy for it. Millsie got the puck for me so thanks for him. A lot of guys said congrats to me so very happy." - Nosek
Quotable II: "He's a good player, he's a good 200-foot player, he's smart, he's accountable, he's got good puck skills, he's got good hands around the net, he's got good offensively ability. Just a real smart player. He's strong on his skates, allows him to be in those tough areas. I thought tonight and his first game were his two best games. I thought he did a real good job." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Jimmy Howard : Thanks to the goaltending rotation, Howard and Petr Mrazek have been alternating games so Howard was rested for Tuesday night. Unfortunately for him, his teammates were not rested despite not having a morning skate. In the third period, with the Hurricanes on the power play, Victor Rask was alone in front of Howard but Howard managed to get his glove in front of Rask's shot. Howard made 28 saves.
Quotable: "They're human. Guys back there, they're human beings. There's obviously going to be fatigue, especially at this level playing three games in three nights. At this level, competition can be taxing. I thought we tried to get a push there in the third and we just didn't have it." - Howard
3. Andreas Athanasiou/Ben Street: Athanasiou had overtime game-winning goals at home against Minnesota and in the first game in Carolina but paid the price on the second one. While the attention was naturally on Carolina goaltender Eddie Lack, who was down on the ice for a long time and eventually taken off on a stretcher, Athanasiou was suffering the effects of Rask's cross-check that sent him into Lack. Athanasiou was seen grimacing on the ice and after the game in the dressing room. The Wings called up Ben Street under emergency conditions for the second time this past month and this time Street played. Street, who assisted on Nosek's goal, got his last NHL assist on Oct. 3, 2013 at Washington.
Quotable: "I'm not sure (Athanasiou's status). I just know he wasn't available to play tonight. Ben Street's a good player. I've known him a bit as a player. He's smart. He stepped in, he did a good job. I thought that line did a real good job on the night." - Blashill