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January 3, 2004 - Draper helps Wings score road victory
My Kris Draper Page

Saturday, January 3, 2004
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Associated Press

Kris Draper lifts the puck over goalie Jamie Storr during the second period.

Red Wings 4, Hurricanes 1

Draper helps Wings score road victory

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The NHLs highest-scoring team made sure early on it wouldnt be shut out for a third straight road game.

Pavel Datsyuk and Steve Yzerman scored 1:06 apart in the first period, and Kris Draper added a short-handed goal, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

Draper also scored from his knees while tangled with Carolina goaltender Jamie Storr and defenseman Sean Hill with 3:10 remaining to put it away.

The Red Wings were shut out in their last two away from Joe Louis Arena, 1-0 at Nashville and 3-0 against Chicago, but posted their league-best 24th win without much of a problem against Carolina.

Detroits lack of offensive in the previous two road games was an aberration since the Red Wings have scored 136 goals in 41 games.

Our scoring has been a big surprise for us, Detroit Coach Dave Lewis said. Whether or not we can continue at this pace remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have scored more than two goals just once in 14 games and were 0-for-8 on the power play.

Its frustrating for the players, its frustrating for me and it sure is frustrating for the fans, new Carolina Coach Peter Laviolette said. I can tell you its not from a lack of trying to get that puck across that red line.

Datsyuk and Yzerman gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead midway through the first, and Draper added his breakaway goal to put Detroit up by three halfway through the game.

Those two goals set them back a little bit, Lewis said.

Drapers two goals gave him a career high of 16. He had 15 two seasons ago.

Datsyuks team-leading 21st appeared to surprise Kevin Weekes, who was pulled after the first. The Detroit center caught the Carolina goaltender leaning on a two-on-one, and Datsyuk put a shot between his legs.

Detroits power play had been struggling the previous six games, going 1-for-23. However, it took the Red Wings 13 seconds into Glen Wesleys high-sticking penalty to make it 2-0 on a deflection by Yzerman.

It was a special teams night, Lewis said.

It was also Wesleys cross-ice pass at the blue line that Draper intercepted and scored past Storr.

That was a tough goal because were on the power play and were hoping we could net one, Laviolette said. Anytime a short-handed goal is scored it can sting. He made a nice read on it and the pass was a little soft.

Its a play I would do 99 out of 100 times, added Wesley. I didnt even look. Its kind of a set play.

Eric Staal and Sean Hill hit crossbars for Carolina before Kevyn Adams scored a short-handed goal with 50 seconds remaining in the second.

The Hurricanes fell to 4-4 under Laviolette and have scored just 12 goals in those eight games.

Weve just got to find a way to hit the bottom of the crossbar and have it go in, center Ron Francis said.

Notes: Weekes started his 18th straight game. ... Yzerman is six points shy of 1,700. ... Carolina has gone seven games without a first-period goal. ... Marty Murray picked up his first penalty of the season for the Hurricanes late in the second. ... Detroit RW Brett Hull doesnt have a goal in 12 games since scoring in seven straight.