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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 9th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (16-11-3) at Detroit Red Wings (20-6-2), 5 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of division leaders wills square off this afternoon when the Detroit Red Wings open the doors of Joe Louis Arena to host the Carolina Hurricanes.

Detroit is 12-0 with a tie in its last 13 games at home against the Carolina franchise. The Hurricanes haven't defeated the Red Wings on the road since a 3-0 victory on November 14, 1989 when they were still known as the Hartford Whalers.

In that span, Carolina does own a postseason victory over the Red Wings in Detroit, taking Game 1 of the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals. The Red Wings went on to win the series and their 10th Stanley Cup in five games.

These two clubs haven't met in Detroit since a 4-4 tie on January 31, 2004. The Hurricanes and Red Wings last met on January 10 of 2006 in Carolina, with the Hurricanes posting a 3-2 win.

The Red Wings enter this contest on a five-game winning streak, giving them a comfortable nine-point lead over St. Louis for first place in the Central Division as well as the most points in the NHL (42).

The club was last in action on Friday and got a big boost from two of its stars, as Henrik Zetterberg notched a hat trick and Dominik Hasek recorded his first shutout of the year in a 5-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

Hasek's shutout was the 77th of his career, while Zetterberg posted three goals in a game for the second time. His 21 goals on the season are tied with Alex Ovechkin of Washington for second in the league. Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk leads the NHL with 23 goals.

Hasek needed just 19 saves to post his seventh win of the season and second consecutive victory between the pipes.

Johan Franzen and Jiri Hudler also scored for the Red Wings, who became the first team in the NHL to reach the 20-win plateau, doing so in just 28 games. It marked the fastest Detroit has hit the 20-win mark since the 2001-02 season, when the club did it in 24 games. That year, the Red Wings won the Presidents' Trophy for the top regular season record and ultimately the Stanley Cup.

Pavel Datsyuk added three assists to give him seven goals and seven helpers during a seven-game points streak.

The Red Wings have also won five in a row at home and are 12-2-0 as the host this year. Detroit will play in Nashville on Monday.

Carolina is on top of the Southeast Division by six points over Atlanta and is currently 2-2-0 on a five-game road trip that wraps tonight. The Hurricanes picked up a victory last time out, defeating Montreal 5-1.

Ray Whitney scored a pair of goals and added an assist to pace the Hurricanes, while Erik Cole added a goal and assist and Matt Cullen collected three helpers. Cam Ward stopped 35-of-36 shots for the win.

Mike Commodore missed the game against Montreal due to a broken right ring finger.

Carolina is 8-6-2 on the road this season and will return home for two straight, beginning with a test against Ottawa on Wednesday.

12/09 10:25:01 ET

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