DETROIT – Nino Niederreiter and the Carolina Hurricanes were rolling along before they stumbled in an unlikely place.
Carolina lost for the first time this month when Adam Erne scored twice to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 victory on Tuesday night, snapping the Hurricanes' eight-game win streak.
“We let them outwork us,” Niederreiter said.
Jonathan Bernier made 35 saves and Robby Fabbri snapped a tie midway through the second period, sending rebuilding Detroit to just its ninth win in 30 games.
“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.
The Red Wings outshot the Hurricanes 15-7 in the first period and scored on two of three power plays.
Carolina had a power play in the opening minute and took advantage on Niederreiter's tap-in goal from the top of the crease.
The Red Wings made the most of their own power-play opportunity early in the opening period, with Erne scoring off a rebound created by Filip Zadina's one-man rush and shot.
Erne scored his fifth goal on another power play midway through the first. He converted a one-timer from the slot while Reimer was without his stick.
“The power play is really clicking right now," Erne said. “I think the communication is good and we know what we want to do. We’ve got a lot of skilled players out there and we’ve gotten it rolling.”
Aho's one-timer from the right circle off Martin Necas' pass from the left circle made it 2-all 1:50 into the second.
The Hurricanes pulled Reimer with 2:01 to go and Hronek scored into the empty net with 26 seconds left for his first goal since Jan. 14, 2020.
“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.
Follow Larry Lage at https://twitter.com/larrylage
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports