For Detroit, an all too familiar foe came back: the injury bug.
Henrik Zetterberg left in the first period after behind hit by Carolina’s Bryan Allen. Zetterberg took one more shift but immediately headed to the locker room afterwards and did not return.
Derek Joslin, Jeff Skinner and Erik Cole all lit the lamp for the Canes, who moved within two points of the New York Rangers for the East’s last playoff spot. Eric Staal added assists on all three tallies.
The big story on the night was Ward, who out-dueled his Red Wings counterpart Jimmy Howard. Ward stopped 42 shots for the shutout, while Howard only got to 29 of the 32 shots he faced.
In his defense, Howard didn’t get much help. After the Red Wings controlled a scoreless first period, the defense started to lapse. Joslin got the Hurricanes on the board on the power play 4:04 into the second period after Justin Abdelkader went off for holding.
Skinner got his 30th of the year with a just over a minute remaining in the frame, picking up Staal’s rebound and stuffing it past Howard on a wraparound to make it 2-0.
Cole made the Red Wings pay early in the third when they failed to score on a four-minute power play, driving a blast past Howard moments after Drayson Bowman exited the box for high-sticking Dan Cleary.