RED WINGS (1-0-0) at HURRICANES (0-0-0)
TV: FS-D, FS-CR
Season series: This is the first meeting since March 24, 2012 between teams that faced off in the 2002 Stanley Cup Final. The Detroit Red Wings won that series and they took the most recent matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 by scoring four unanswered goals. Henrik Zetterberg scored twice.
Big story: It may take fans some time to get used to seeing Detroit in the Eastern Conference, but the Red Wings wasted little time acclimating themselves by claiming a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in their season opener on Wednesday. They'll go for two in a row by serving as the visitor in Carolina's opening game, and the Hurricanes figure to have PNC Arena rocking.
Red Wings: A pair of veterans generated all the offense Detroit would need in its opener as Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk scored 36 seconds apart midway through the first period. That proved to be enough for Jimmy Howard, who started his bid to be the U.S. goalie at the 2014 Sochi Olympics by stopping 19 of 20 shots and outdueling Buffalo's Ryan Miller.
Samuelsson, limited to four games last season by injuries, contributed the season's first goal by redirecting a shot by Cory Emmerton.
"As a fourth line, your job is to be hard on teams, have the puck more than them and make it hard for them and when you score goals that just helps the team," Emmerton said.
Hurricanes: Life didn't get any easier for Carolina with the dissolving of the Southeast Division and the Hurricanes' subsequent move into a Metropolitan Division that includes the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers and an old neighbor that's frustrated them for years in the Washington Capitals.
After dropping their first three preseason games, the Hurricanes finished with three straight wins. They've battled injuries to top draft pick Elias Lindholm and key returnees Jeff Skinner and Alexander Semin, but all three returned to practice this week and with the top two lines centered by Eric Staal and Jordan Staal they've got the nucleus of a strong offense.
"Jordan's line is set. Eric's line is set," coach Kirk Muller told the team's website. "It's just a matter of looking at the third and the fourth and seeing what the right combinations are there."
Injury report: Red Wings forwards Darren Helm (back), Jordin Tootoo (shoulder) and Patrick Eaves (knee) and goaltender Jonas Gustavsson (groin) are on injured reserve. … Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen (heel) is on injured reserve and won't play this season. Forward Tuomo Ruutu (lower body) and defenseman Tim Gleason (concussion) are expected to miss Friday's opener.
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