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January 3, 2004 - Red Wings 4, Hurricanes 1
My Kris Draper Page

 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The NHL's highest-scoring team made sure early on it wouldn't 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.

Detroit's 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.

``It's frustrating for the players, it's frustrating for me and it sure is frustrating for the fans,'' new Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. ``I can tell you it's 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.

Draper's two goals gave him a career high of 16. He had 15 two seasons ago.

Datsyuk's 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.

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

``It was a special teams' night,'' Lewis said.

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

``That was a tough goal because we're on the power play and we're 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.''

``It's a play I would do 99 out of 100 times,'' added Wesley. ``I didn't even look. It's 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.

``We've just got to find a way to hit the bottom of the crossbar and have itgo in,'' center Ron Francis said.