A Freon leak in the cooling system at PNC Arena was discovered earlier in the day. The issue was fixed, but not in time to restart the game. NHL rules state a game cannot start less than 22 hours before a team's next scheduled contest, and the Red Wings are set to play at Tampa Bay against the Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.
It was the first time a hockey game at the arena -- which opened for the 1999-2000 season -- was postponed because of technical issues.
Carolina announced a delay on Twitter about 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of 7 p.m. ET, then publicized the postponement around 8:45 p.m. ET.
Hurricanes president Don Waddell said a makeup date would probably be decided on Tuesday or Wednesday.
"I've seen games cancelled for ice storms and weather, but this is the first one I've seen because of a seal in the compressors," Carolina general manager Ron Francis said. "I don't remember an issue similar to this. It's certainly frustrating."
Waddell said the problem was indicated by a computer at about 6 p.m. ET.
"We had to fix the part that broke and then bring the gas in to fix the Freon," Waddell said. "The problem was that the ice temperature got up to about 30 degrees, so once we started chilling it, it was dropping; but at the rate it was dropping, we could not have been comfortable with it until about 9:45. And the safety of the players obviously is first and foremost."
Waddell said the normal ice temperature at the start of a game is 18 degrees, but the temperature when the game was postponed was 24 degrees.
"I've never been a part of something like this," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "But the No. 1 concern has to be the safety of the players and the referees. It was determined we could not get the ice conditions to where they needed to be in time, since we're playing tomorrow, as well."
As Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg added, "It's just one of those things. We'll get into Tampa a little earlier and there will be a morning skate, instead of the optional. That's the only difference [for Tuesday's game]."
The Hurricanes wrote on their Twitter account that they will post ticket and parking refund information on the team website.
Three NHL games were postponed in January because of a massive snowstorm. The Washington Capitals postponed home games against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks, while the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders also held off on a game in Brooklyn.