DETROIT -- When a team that struggles to score loses their leading scorer, you sometimes end up with a game like the one the Red Wings had Sunday night.
After losing Anthony Mantha (12-11-23) in the first period Saturday night in New Jersey, the Wings could not generate enough offense to support a strong performance from goaltender Jimmy Howard, getting shut out by the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-0, at Little Caesars Arena Sunday night.
It is the third time the Wings have been shut out this season.
The Wings fell to 7-16-3 and are winless in their last six (0-4-2).
The Hurricanes improved to 15-8-1 and have won six of their last seven (6-1-0).
Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen (shorthanded, empty net) scored for the Hurricanes.
Howard (2-10-1) stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced for a season-best .971 save percentage.
Carolina goaltender James Reimer (4-4-0) had 19 saves for his 22nd career shutout and first against Detroit.
The 19 shots tied a season low for the Wings, originally set Nov. 10 against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Up next for the Wings is a Wednesday night date with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have a new head coach in Sheldon Keefe.
The Hurricanes also play Wednesday night, on the road at Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers.
1. Jimmy Howard: Just as it has been a rough go this season for the entire team, so has it been for Howard. Carolina is a team that shoots a lot, averaging 33.7 shots per game. So Howard knew he was in for a busy night. Just 1:28 into the game, Andrei Svechnikov and Aho came in on a 2-on-1 with defenseman Alex Biega back and Howard made the save on Svechnikov's shot from the right circle. In all, he had to make 12 saves in the first period. Early in the second, he stopped Warren Foegele. But there was little Howard could do with what happened at 10:37 of the second. The puck went off the glass into the crease and Howard thought he had it frozen but Aho poked it into the net for the first goal of the game. Howard had to make 12 more saves in the third to keep it a one-goal game, none better than when he slid over to stop Martin Necas' shot from the left circle.
Quotable: "That's the type of game I need to play every single night for the guys. It's been far and few between for me this year and it's a good building block for me. Sometimes all it takes is a game. You get right back into that mindframe and you just start rolling. For me it's building off of this and whenever I get my next start, build off of it." - Howard
Quotable II: "I thought Jimmy played great. Jimmy made all the saves he had to. We have to score to win. We didn't do good enough offensively but Jimmy was great. Our PK came up big and I thought we made it hard for them to get to the middle of the ice in our offensive zone." - Dylan Larkin
Quotable III: "He played a really good game. He made a comment the other day that he needs to step his game up and certainly did that tonight. I thought he was really good tonight, so we need to continue to get really good goaltending and I thought he gave us that." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Filip Zadina: Playing on the second half of a back-to-back is challenging enough but Zadina, just called up from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, was playing in the third part of a back-to-back-to-back. The Griffins had a home-and-away set against the Milwaukee Admirals, Friday in Grand Rapids and Saturday in Milwaukee. But right out of the gate, Zadina showed some zip, shooting off the post about a minute into the first. From behind the net, Zadina then tried to set up Valtteri Filppula at 4:42. Zadina finished with 19 shifts for 15:04, had one shot, two giveaways and was minus-1.
Quotable: "I think I felt good. It wasn't that bad, actually. I thought it was going to be worse but I felt okay. (I found out) right after the game against Milwaukee yesterday. They called me that I'm supposed to play today. It was a huge moment. I was so glad for it. I was glad for those nine games (last season). It showed me what this NHL hockey is all about. I think it helped me a lot and I was so appreciative that I could be here last year with those guys. Now I'm here, so I just want to do my best and stay as long as I can." - Zadina
Quotable II: "It's tough to play three games in three nights with the travel that he's had. I thought he did really well. I'm looking for him to build off that and to get more comfortable here. We've got two days before our next game so I think the stretch we've had, we all need it, we all need tomorrow to rest and then come to work on Tuesday and get ready for the Leafs on Wednesday. We've had a lot of games here, we need to reset and have a great workday Tuesday and then come and play our best game of the year on Wednesday. The Leafs have been hot so I expect him to come out flying and all of us to come out flying." - Larkin
Quotable III: "I thought Z played well. I thought he came in and didn't look out of place. I thought his first period was really good and then like the rest of the team didn't generate as much after that. But I thought he came in and didn't look out of place." - Blashill
3. Better defense: After allowing five goals in each of their last two games and 23 goals total in the last six, the Wings gave up just two - one a shorthanded, empty-net tally - to the high-scoring Hurricanes. The Hurricanes came in averaging 3.5 goals per game. The Wings had not held a team to two goals since their 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Nov. 10. Some of it was due to Howard's stellar play and some was due to better overall team defense.
Quotable: "Well, we played all the way to the end. They got a good bounce on the only goal they really needed. It was one of those ones where it came off the end wall. I felt like if I would have pushed into the post, I probably could've knocked it in myself, so I tried to just squeeze it against me." - Howard
Quotable II: "Early we gave up more outnumbered rushes than we have in a while in that first period, so I didn't love that. Sometimes the puck doesn't go in the net. I thought we came out and competed hard. I thought we competed really hard. I thought we worked hard. Our D are trying to be a little more active down the walls in terms of keeping pucks in, so we can play in the O-zone a little bit more and as a result we probably gave up some rushes we don't want top give up. That's part of the give and take a little bit. I thought Jimmy played good, I thought Jimmy was solid and we found a way to keep it a one-goal game, we just couldn't generate anything." - Blashill