Hurricanes take on troublesome Red Wings again

The Carolina Hurricanes have rolled up their best record ever across the first 40 games of a season.Yet dealing with the Detroit Red Wings has been troublesome.After falling to the last-place Red Wings in a shootout Saturday night, the Hurricanes take another shot against Detroit when the teams meet Monday night in Raleigh, N.C.”They work hard,” Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton said of the Red Wings. “Sometimes we struggle with teams like that.”It took seven rounds in the shootout before Detroit prevailed with the 5-4 result, marking the Red Wings’ second victory in a row when facing the Hurricanes.Still, that gave Carolina a team point. So with a 27-9-4 record, the Hurricanes have their best mark at this stage of any season and remain in first place in the Central Division, while Detroit remains last at 14-23-6.Avoiding pitfalls against teams that might otherwise be struggling is something the Hurricanes want to address. The Red Wings are 3-3-0 in their six meetings so far.”We just weren’t sharp,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said of the latest outing. “We weren’t good, really. They work hard. They make you earn everything. They earned their two points.”Slowing down Adam Erne is one of the objectives for the Hurricanes.Before he scored the decisive tally in the seventh round of the shootout Saturday night, he provided a third-period goal. That gave him a goal in four of the past six games in the best stretch of his career. Add in his assists, and he’s got a six-game scoring streak.”I’m comfortable with it right now,” Erne said. “One game, one day at a time. Just trying to stick with that.”The topic of goaltending remains at the forefront for the Hurricanes, who have three goalies with strong credentials this season.Petr Mrazek played in three of the past four games since returning from an absence of more than two months because of thumb surgery.For the rematch with Detroit, it would figure that the Hurricanes would turn to either Alex Nedeljkovic or James Reimer, who hasn’t played in more than a week.