Mrazek, Ferraro help Red Wings beat Hurricanes 2-0, claim Atlantic's No. 3 seed

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — The Detroit Red Wings gave Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk the night off. They didn't really need their stars — not with Petr Mrazek stopping every shot he faced.

Mrazek made 35 saves in his third shutout of the season, leading Detroit to a 2-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

"It was going to be a hard game for us and for me personally," Mrazek said. "Just go there and stop as many pucks as I can. I'm happy I stopped everything."

Landon Ferraro scored his first career goal in the opening minute and Joakim Andersson added an empty-netter with 2:20 left, helping the playoff-bound Red Wings clinch the Atlantic Division's No. 3 seed.

Detroit will play Tampa Bay in the first round of the postseason, and Mrazek declined to state his case for the starting job in that series.

"That's not a question for me," he said.

Mrazek stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period of his fifth career shutout and second in a little over two weeks. He most recently blanked Tampa Bay 4-0 on March 28.

Giving credit to his defensemen, Mrazek said he "saw almost every puck today."

So did his counterpart, Cam Ward. After giving up a goal on the first shot he faced, Ward finished with 27 saves for the Hurricanes — who missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

"It was a good effort," Carolina defenseman Ron Hainsey said. "Held them to a very limited situation, goal-wise, only giving up the one (before the empty-netter). Obviously we have to get one to win a game. ... We had plenty of opportunities to score. We just didn't, weren't able to beat the goaltender when we had the opportunity."

The Hurricanes, whose 30 wins are their fewest in a full season since the 2003-04 team had 28, were already locked into last in the Metropolitan Division. Owners of the longest active playoff drought among current Eastern Conference teams, they missed out for the eighth time in nine seasons.

Carolina coach Bill Peters — an assistant on the past three Detroit teams — said "there's another level" in the postseason.

"It goes up again," he added, "so it's unfortunate that some guys haven't witnessed that and lived that and experienced that. Until you do, you don't know."

These Red Wings know.

They reached the 100-point mark for the 17th time in the last 20 non-shortened seasons, and were playing for postseason positioning after having clinched a playoff berth for the 24th straight season.

"We've got to get it through our heads that playoff time, it's getting behind their defense, forechecking and playing inside the hash marks," said Dan Cleary, who inherited an "A'' with the team's leadership trio sitting out. "We've got a talented group that cares about each other and I think if we get to the net, get some creasing, grinding out there, we'll be better off."

The Red Wings gave a few key players — defenseman Niklas Kronwall and goalie Jimmy Howard, in addition to Datsyuk and Zetterberg — a breather with their postseason opener coming in a few days.

Another defenseman — Brendan Smith — was benched because he took a foolish penalty two nights earlier in a loss to Montreal.

They didn't have much trouble taking the early lead.

Ferraro, who was called up from Grand Rapids on Monday, scored 48 seconds in. He gathered the rebound of his shot, skated behind the net and stuffed the puck past Ward for his first career goal — and the only one the Red Wings needed.

He only needs 407 more to catch his father — 17-year NHL veteran Ray Ferraro.

"I really wanted to get it in," he said, "or it would be a really long offseason waiting to get it."

NOTES: The Red Wings have earned points in four of their last five. ... They swept the season series and improved to 15-4-1-0 since 1999 against the Hurricanes.


Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

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