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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
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
3rd
SFG 1
KAN 1
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
4th
WASU 23
ARZ 52
 
3rd
CLEM 3
SYR 6
 
3rd
LAMON 15
TXST 7
 
3rd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 24
 
3rd
COLST 31
WYO 3
 
Half
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
Half
TENN 10
ALA 27
 
Half
AUB 21
SCAR 21
 
2nd
PSU 0
OSU 10
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
3rd
TOR 0
BOS 2
 
3rd
NYI 4
DAL 4
 
3rd
PHI 2
DET 2
 
3rd
OTT 1
NJD 2
 
3rd
MON 2
NYR 1
 
2nd
STL 1
CHI 1
 
2nd
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
2nd
MIN 5
TAM 1
 
1st
ARI 0
FLA 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14