- Associated Press - Saturday, January 20, 2018

DETROIT (AP) - Elias Lindholm made the most of his chance to fill in for Sebastian Aho on Carolina’s top line.

Lindholm’s second goal of the game broke a third-period tie and the Hurricanes went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Saturday night.

Lindholm played an increased role in the team’s first game this season without Aho, its leading scorer. Aho is out with a concussion and lower-body injury.

“With injuries come opportunities, and we had extra ice time with Sebastian out,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. “Elias took advantage of that and played a really strong game.”

Lindholm, who replaced Aho on the first line with Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen, scored twice on power plays. His second goal at the 6:54 mark of the third was the result of persistence, with Lindholm scoring off a rebound after Jimmy Howard made two saves and appeared to briefly handle the puck.

Justin Williams gave Carolina a two-goal cushion with 1:58 left.

“This was huge,” Lindholm said. “I was happy to contribute and Cam (Ward) made some big saves. This was a big performance by everybody.

Ward stopped 23 shots for the Hurricanes, including a kick save to prevent Gustav Nyquist from pulling Detroit within one on a power play late in the game with Howard pulled for an extra skater.

Tomas Tatar scored and Howard made 27 saves for the Red Wings, who have lost four of five.

“I don’t think about whether things are slipping away,” coach Jeff Blashill insisted. “I think about what you have to do to make sure we’re in the playoff hunt and what we have to do is win games and certainly there’s an urgency to win now. There’s no question about that.”

Carolina, coming off its bye, started strong and avoided a sluggish performance that has plagued many NHL teams after their break.

“The hardest part is keeping up with the pace because teams are playing fast at this time of year, and you have to get your legs back,” Williams said.

Just 10 seconds after Nyquist went to the penalty box with a tripping penalty, Lindholm scored 2:57 into the game on a power play.

Howard kept Detroit within a goal with some difficult saves, including one with his glove that stopped Jeff Skinner’s shot early in the game as the Hurricanes had a 7-0 shot advantage.

Tatar’s one-timer from the right circle with 3:23 left in the first made it 1-all. The score stayed that way after a scoreless second in which Howard made more stops to give the Red Wings a shot to win.

The Red Wings hit posts, including Martin Frk’s shot with about four minutes left, but couldn’t get another puck past Ward to extend the game.

Detroit has scored two or fewer goals 22 times - about half its games this season.

“It’s tough to win when you don’t score more than that,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall acknowledged.

NOTES: Lindholm scored twice in a game for the first time in two-plus years. … Peters was a Red Wings assistant under Mike Babcock for three seasons, one with Blashill, from 2011-14. … Detroit D Nick Jensen was a healthy scratch, forcing him to miss his first game of the season, and Xavier Ouellet took his spot in the lineup. … The Red Wings scratched Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm with lower-body injuries. They hope Abdelkader can return within the next three games and expect Helm to be out until after the All-Star Game next weekend. … Carolina had lost three of four.


Hurricanes: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday night.

Red Wings: Play at New Jersey on Monday night.


More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey


Follow Larry Lage at www.twitter.com/larrylage

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