Detroit led 1-0 at the first intermission on a shot by Valtteri Filppula at 4:35 of the first period.
In the second period, Johan Franzen scored on the power play and Andreas Lilja scored at full strength for Detroit, but Carolina pulled back to within one with two goals from Erik Cole -- one on the power play at 10:36.
Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek stopped 15 of 17 shots in the first meeting between the teams since Jan. 31, 2004.
Goalie Cam Ward was beaten five times on 38 shots for the Hurricanes, who last won at Detroit 3-0 Nov. 14, 1989, when they were still the Hartford Whalers.
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