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January 2, 2004 - Kris Draper ups career-best goals total to 16 in Red Wings' 4-1 victory
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Kris Draper ups career-best goals total to 16 in Red Wings' 4-1 victory

Canadian Press

Friday, January 02, 2004

Detroit Red Wings' Kris Draper (33) scores on Carolina Hurricanes goalie Jamie Storr (1) during the second period Friday, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP/Karl DeBlaker)

CREDIT: (AP/Karl DeBlaker)

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 66 seconds 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 defenceman 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 offence 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."

Kevyn Adams replied for the Hurricanes, who 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 centre caught the Carolina goaltender leaning on a 2-on-1, 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 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 it go in," centre 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 doesn't have a goal in 12 games since scoring in seven straight.