“This was one of our best games of the season,” coach Jeff Blashill said.
The Hurricanes entered the game only one point shy of the NHL leaders.
“Sometimes you get a little too satisfied,” Niederreiter said. “The more you win, the more teams want to beat us.”
Erne’s two goals in the first period lifted the Red Wings to a 2-1 lead. Fabbri broke a tie after he was set up by Dylan Larkin’s drop pass with 7:32 left in the second. In the final minute, Filip Hronek sealed the rare victory with an empty-net goal.
Niederreiter gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead with his 13th goal 2:21 into the first, and Sebastian Aho tied it at 2 early in the second. Carolina’s James Reimer made 24 saves.
The Hurricanes beat last-place Detroit 2-1 on Sunday night and moved into the Central Division lead ahead of Tampa Bay and Florida. The Hurricanes went into Tuesday’s game in second place, a point behind the surprising Panthers and a point ahead of the defending champion Lightning in the division.
The East Division-leading New York Islanders, who shared the NHL lead in points with Tampa Bay entering play Tuesday, had a league-high, nine-game winning streak snapped at Washington shortly before Detroit ended Carolina’s run.
Detroit had won only one of its previous six games, but it competed very well with one of the league’s best teams.
“We’re a pretty good team when we have all our guys healthy,” Blashill said.
Detroit’s Bobby Ryan was scratched with an upper-body injury, missing a game for the first time since the opener against Carolina two months ago. Ryan, who turns 34 on Thursday, has six goals and 13 points in 28 games and is potentially a trade target for a contending team.
Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele was limited to 4:54 of ice time to an injury.
“He pulled himself,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I don’t know what the status is on that.”
Carolina fell to 0-3 when trailing after two periods while Detroit improved to 9-0-1 when entering the third with the lead.
Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton had an assist, giving him at least a point in nine straight games for the NHL’s longest active streak.
Hurricanes: Host Columbus on Thursday night.
Red Wings: Host Dallas on Thursday night.
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