One could feel it the moment Red Wings took the ice for practice.

The chirping and chatter competed with the sound of skates carving ice and pucks slamming glass, once again.

Laughter and smiles. The Wings had finally won.

“You could almost see the pressure come off of everyone,” said Jimmy Howard, who watched and fought the flu, as the Red Wings beat the Hurricanes, 4-3.

“I think, now, you’re going to see us just getting back to playing hockey.”

The feeling was pervasive in the dressing room.

“These guys have been through it before,” said Gustav Nyquist, who set the Wings up for victory with a goal 17 seconds in and scored the winner in the third, after the developing defense allowed Carolina back into the contest.

Nyquist’s reward is a place on the roster for the the rest of the season.

“They’ve had their lows and highs,” he said. “Obviously, they’ve won a lot, so they’re not used to losing. They know how to handle it.

“I’m sure we’ll be fine, if we keep doing the right things.”

A lot of the frustration, it seems, is the Wings felt they were on the verge for weeks.

“My sense is that it’s been close for a while, and the frustration has been we were not getting rewarded for some of the work that we did,” Daniel Alfredsson said.

“But at the same time, you’ve got to work through the adversity.”

Mike Babcock said for days he thought the team needed to relax and have fun playing again. It seems to be happening now.

“I think for sure; just loosening up,” Babcock said. “Obviously, we were starting to squeeze our sticks.