Detroit's three-game winless streak was hardly cause for panic. But there was still a sigh of relief when the Red Wings finally notched a victory.
"I knew Irbe from playing in San Jose and I knew the only way to go was top shelf," Larionov said of his fourth goal of the season, all game-winners.
Before Westlund's score, Detroit's Brendan Shanahan missed a chance to score his 400th career goal when he hit the post on an open net attempt.
Ron Francis became the sixth NHL playeto reach 1,500 career points when he assisted on Sami Kapanen's first-period goal for Carolina. Francis trails only Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Marcel Dionne, Mark Messier and Phil Esposito on the career scoring list.
"When you think of the amount of guys that have played the game, it's a pretty special number," Francis said. "When you come into the league, you're just trying to prove yourself and get into the lineup. You never think of something like this."
The loss was the second straight for the Hurricanes and ended a two-game road winning streak. It also left the franchise's 10th straight loss in Detroit since the Hartford Whalers won 3-0 on Nov. 14, 1989.
"I used to have a special feeling for this place, but we've lost a lot of hockey games here," said Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice, who once coached the Detroit Junior Wings when they played in Joe Louis Arena. "I used to like this place, but now I hate it."
Irbe stopped 30 shots for the Hurricanes.
McCarty scored early and Fedorov late in the second period to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.
McCarty got his third goal at the 1:40 mark for a 1-1 tie when he took a pass from Steve Yzerman in the right circle and squeezed a shot over Irbe's glove.
Fedorov scored his fourth on a power-play with four seconds left in the period. He got loose on the right side of the net and took a wraparound that deflected into the net off Hurricanes defenseman Sean Hill.
Carolina didn't have a shot until Kent Manderville had two short-handed chances 13 1/2 minutes into the game. But the Hurricanes scored the only first-period goal on a power play when Kapanen redirected a pass from Francis past Osgood for his ninth goal at 16:40.
"We didn't generate a whole lot early, but usually (the Red Wings) don't allow us to," Maurice said. "You've certainly got to capitalize on your chances."
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