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Mrazek leads Red Wings past Hurricanes 2-0

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Petr Mrazek made 35 saves in his third shutout of the season, leading the Detroit Red Wings past the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 on Saturday night.

Landon Ferraro scored his first career goal in the opening minute and Joakim Andersson added an empty-netter with 2:20 left to help the playoff-bound Red Wings — who gave regulars Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk the night off — clinch the Atlantic Division’s No. 3 seed.

Detroit will play Tampa Bay in the first round of the postseason.

After taking that early lead at Carolina, the Red Wings turned the game over to Mrazek. He 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.

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

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.

These Red Wings have no idea what that’s like.

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.

They 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.

NOTES: The Red Wings have earned points in four of their last five. … The Red Wings swept the season series and improved to 15-4-1-0 since 1999 against the Hurricanes. … First-year Carolina coach Bill Peters spent three years as an assistant with Detroit.

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

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