The Detroit Red Wings had lost seven straight games.
Even more galling for the Wings and certainly their fans: the winless streak at Joe Louis Arena was eight games.
Into the mix Thursday came the Carolina Hurricanes, who had not beaten the Wings in a regular-season game at the "Joe" since the franchise moved to North Carolina in 1997. Many in "Hockeytown" assumed this would be the night the frustration and streaks would come to an end for the Wings.
The streak is over. Henrik Zetterberg's power-play goal in the third period gave the Wings the lead and they scored a 4-3 victory over the Hurricanes.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
After the Canes failed on a 5-on-3 power play late in the second period, the Wings took the lead in the third with a two-man advantage.
Niklas Kronwall was credited with the goal after the puck went off the skate of Canes center Jordan Staal and trickled across the goal line as goalie Justin Peters scrambled to get to it.
A holding penalty on the Canes' Riley Nash and then a slash on Tim Gleason set up the Wings for two minutes of a 5-on-3. The goal came with 15 seconds left in the power play.
Canes forward Jeff Skinner, who had missed the past 11 games with an upper-body injury, was activated off injured reserve Thursday morning and back in the lineup. Skinner played on Eric Staal's line as Muller looked to generate some needed offense.
The Wings scored just 17 seconds into the game, Gustav Nyquist with the goal, and then took a 2-0 lead early in the second on Darren Helm's score. But the Canes answered -- with defensemen scoring.
Brett Bellemore notched his first NHL goal on a give-and-go with forward Radek Dvorak. Andrej Sekera then tied it 2-2 with a little more than seven minutes left in the period.
Sekera's move was swift and decisive. Taking a pass from Eric Staal, he bolted over the Detroit blue line, zipped past a Wings defenseman and basted a glove-side shot past Jonas Gustavsson, who started in goal for the Wings.
But the Canes' power-play woes continued. Back-to-back penalties on the Wings late in the second resulted in one minute, 36 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play for Carolina, but the Canes could not take the lead.
Wings star Pavel Datsyuk batted down a pass by the Canes' Chris Terry near the blue line, helping Detroit burn off several seconds. The Wings' penalty killers, who ranked fourth in the NHL, did the rest and the Canes' opportunity was squandered.
It also seemed as if Brendan Shanahan dropped the puck and the Wings scored.
Shanahan, now a Hockey Hall of Famer and a former Wings star, was honored before the game. Once it began, the Wings scored in 17 seconds.
Nyquist, called up Wednesday from Grand Rapids of the AHL, got off a shot from the bottom of the right circle that beat Canes goalie Justin Peters. Just like that Nyquist had his first goal in his first game this season.
The Wings controlled most of the opening period, getting off the first six shots, outshooting the Canes 16-7 and getting seven scoring chances to the Canes' one. The Canes had a power play late in the period but did not get a shot on goal and is 1-22 on the power play in the past eight games.
The Wings lost defenseman Brian Lashoff during the game because of the flu.