RALEIGH, N.C. — The Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday night, snapping the longest active streak of playoff appearances in the four major sports at 25 seasons.
The Red Wings lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Combined with wins by the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, the Wings were eliminated from postseason contention for the first time since 1990-91.
Lee Stempniak and Joakim Nordstrom scored about five minutes apart in the first period for the Hurricanes in the teams’ second meeting in two nights.
Jordan Staal and Elias Lindholm also scored for Carolina and Cam Ward stopped 21 shots. The Hurricanes have earned a point in 12 straight games (8-0-4) to move four points out of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.
The Red Wings beat the Hurricanes on Monday in a makeup game rescheduled from Dec. 19 when a Freon leak at PNC Arena made for unplayable ice. Tuesday’s contest was regularly scheduled.
The postponement resulted in three games in the three days for the Red Wings. They won the first two but visibly struggled with their energy in the finale to snap a four-game point streak.
Tomas Nosek scored his first NHL goal and Jimmy Howard made 29 saves for Detroit.
Carolina started fast and never let up. Stempniak opened the scoring midway through the first period when his wrist shot from the right circle sneaked to the side of Howard’s blocker. Nordstrom doubled Carolina’s lead later in the period when he collected a rebound off Howard’s right pad in front of the net and buried it.
Staal made it 3-0 in the second when his wrist shot from the left circle sailed under Howard’s glove.
Detroit’s fatigue was apparent from the opening puck drop.
Anthony Mantha failed to get shot off on a first-period breakaway. Darren Helm whiffed on a point-blank one-timer in front of the net. Stempniak’s and Staal’s goals were well within reach of Howard, who simply missed them.
Overall the Red Wings were outshot 32-22.
Nosek avoided the shutout with 6:27 remaining when Drew Miller’s shot wide of the net redirected off the boards into the crease, and Nosek stepped behind Ward to push the loose puck in.
Carolina goaltender Eddie Lack was in attendance a day after he was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a collision with Detroit forward Andreas Anthanasiou. He received a warm ovation from the crowd after an interview on the JumboTron.
Anthanasiou collided with Lack in the crease as he scored the winning goal in overtime on Monday and Lack remained down on the ice for more than 10 minutes before being carted off. He was taken to a hospital, diagnosed with a neck strain and discharged that night.
Lack is day-to-day. Anthanasiou was scratched Tuesday due to soreness from the collision.