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Motor City Meltdown: Red Wings 5, Hurricanes 4

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The Carolina Hurricanes took a 4-1 lead late in the second period but were unable to hold off a Detroit Red Wings onslaught as they lost to the Wings, 5-4 on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.

The Canes allowed a total of 50 shots on goal for the game and ran out of gas in the third period as they could only muster three shots on goal themselves while Detroit threw 19 at Cam Ward.

Jiri Tlusty scored twice, his 16th and 17th of the season, while Chad LaRose and Jamie McBain had one goal each for Carolina. This game completed the 15th of 16 back-to-back sets for the team. They are 10-4-1 in the front half, but 4-8-3 in the second games of the back-to-backs.

The Carolina franchise has not won a regular season game in Detroit since 1989, when they were otherwise known as the Hartford Whalers.

Next up will be a game in Toronto on Tuesday night.

Game Notes:

  • Tuomo Ruutu seems to be in the Kirk Muller doghouse. The winger was moved to the fourth line Friday night in Columbus and then played limited minutes in the second half of the game in Detroit. John Forslund mentioned on the Aftermath that a "message" was being sent. Ruutu finished with 11:38 for the game.
  • One has to wonder what this team's strategy is for "rotating" goalies because there continues to be very little rotation. Brian Boucher was acquired to give Cam Ward a break at times because Jim Rutherford specifically said Ward's career would be cut short by over-playing him as they have been in recent years. But Ward continues to be used more often than not in both games of back-to-backs, leading one to wonder why they acquired Boucher. Also, with making the playoffs a miracle at best, why overwork Ward?
  • The Canes were outshot 50-24 for the game. McBain, Skinner, and LaRose led the way with three shots each.
  • Eric Staal only had one shot on goal but he continues to shine in the faceoff circle and won 70% of his draws. Tim Brent was at 62%. The team finished at 52% for the game.
  • Carolina was much more physical than in Columbus and had almost twice as many hits, (25). Jussi Jokinen was credited with five hits while LaRose and Brent had four each.
  • The team only had eight blocked shots in this one. Justin Faulk had a team high two.
  • Faulk led the way with 24:35 of ice time. Joslin and Stewart were on the low end with 4:26 and 4:38 respectively.