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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, October 4th (All times Eastern)

Detroit Red Wings (1-0-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (0-0-0), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings will take aim at a 2-0 start to the season on Friday, while the Carolina Hurricanes try to kick off their campaign with a win in Friday's clash at PNC Arena.

The Red Wings opened the season at home on Wednesday night and earned a 2-1 regulation win over the Buffalo Sabres. Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk tallied 36 seconds apart in the first period and Jimmy Howard turned away 19- of-20 shots to help the Red Wings earn two points in the season opener for both teams.

Howard is coming off the best season of his career, in which he posted a 2.13 goals against average and his five shutouts tied for the league lead.

"I thought we got off to a great start there," Howard said. "We took a lot of penalties, so we're going to have to clean that up, especially early on in the year here, where it seems like it's more tightly called."

With Wednesday's win, the Red Wings now have beaten Buffalo in 12 of the last 13 matchups at Joe Louis Arena since 1996.

Detroit, which had been a member of the Western Conference since 1993-94, got off to an ideal start as a part of the East following the league's realignment this offseason.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have left the now defunct Southeast Division to join the Metropolitan Division. Carolina will begin divisional play in its new surroundings when it hosts Philadelphia on Sunday, but kicks off its intra- conference slate against the Red Wings tonight.

Since reaching the top of the NHL mountain with a Stanley Cup title in 2006, things haven't gone so well for the Hurricanes. The franchise has missed the playoffs in six of seven seasons since winning it all and last spring marked Carolina's fourth straight spring without a playoffs appearance.

Despite the recent downturn, it's not out of line to think the Hurricanes have a chance to break the cycle in 2013-14. After all, the club was in first place in the Southeast last season before No. 1 goaltender Cam Ward -- the Conn Smythe winner when Carolina won it all in '06 -- suffered a season-ending injury.

Without Ward between the pipes the Hurricanes imploded, losing 20 of their final 27 games and finishing 13 points out of a playoff spot.

A healthy Hurricanes team could challenge for a playoff spot this season, although they'll have to do it in what appears to be a tougher division than the Southeast.

Unfortunately, the injuries already seem to be starting for the Hurricanes, who learned earlier this month that top defenseman Joni Pitkanen will miss the entire season with a broken bone in his left heel -- not the best omen heading into 2013-14 if you are the Hurricanes. Forward Tuomo Ruutu is also on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, while sniping winger Alexander Semin is questionable for Friday's opener with an upper-body issue.

However, Ward is ready to go after posting a 9-6-1 record and a 2.84 goals against average for Carolina before suffering his injury last season. Despite the injury problems last year, the 29-year-old has earned a reputation as one of the most durable goaltenders in the NHL. In fact, before 2013 Ward had appeared in 60 games or more in five of the previous six seasons.

Detroit has won four of the last five encounters with the Hurricanes, but Carolina has claimed two of the past three meetings in Raleigh.

10/04 10:53:38 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NCCU
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
FIU
 
1:05pm Today
DET
FLASO
 
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
Final
BOS 101
GSW 106
Final
IND 94
PHI 74
Final
SAC 99
POR 110
Final
LAL 101
OKC 108
Final
DEN 92
NOP 99
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
GSW
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LAC
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NOP
 
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
Final
WAKE 69
PITT 66
Final
STAN 70
OREG 73
Final
OSU 65
PURD 61
Final
COL 87
ARST 81
Final
UCLA 72
WASU 67
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TEX
BAY
 
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SYR
UVA
 
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NCAT
COOK
 
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SHSU
CARK
 
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DELST
HAMP
 
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HOW
NORST
 
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NWST
SELA
 
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STEPH
INCWORD
 
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MCNST
LAM
 
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SAV
NCCU
 
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NO
NICST
 
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ARKPB
JST
 
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ALAST
PVU
 
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ALAAM
TXSOU
 
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VT
BC
 
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MVSU
GRAM
 
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ISU
OKLA
 
Final
WIN 5
LOS 2
Final
PIT 5
CLB 3
Final
FLA 4
TAM 3
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WAS 4
TOR 0
Final
DAL 1
ANA 3
Final
VAN 6
STL 5
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NYR
NAS
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
MON