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Goals are a bonus for Stuart

Defenseman's two goals paces Wings' win over Ducks

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 3:47 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Goals are a bonus for Stuart
ANAHEIM, Calif. – There was a time in his career when Brad Stuart was asked to be more assertive in the offensive zone. But roles change and Stuart is quite comfortable in his capacity since joining the Red Wings at the 2008 trade deadline.

“For me it’s not about scoring goals,” Stuart said, “it’s about being hard on the defensive side of the puck and killing penalties and all of that. The goals are a nice bonus.”

While scoring goals come at a premium for him now, it’s still gratifying to get involving in the scoring, said Stuart, who netted two goals – including the game-winner – in Sunday’s 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

“It’s nice,” Stuart said. “I think I went the first 15 games of the year without any points so it was nice to get a couple at some point.”

Sunday’s offensive outburst was Stuart’s fifth two-goal game of his career, but his first since Dec. 2006 when he scored a pair of third-period goals that helped the Boston Bruins defeat Montreal.

Stuart’s winning goal, his second of the season, put the Wings up 3-0 in the second period. But his empty net tally with 48-seconds left in regulation was a source of relief for the Wings, who were feeling the heat from the Ducks who were pressing to tie game, and they had back-to-back power plays to try to do it.

“They were coming hard, they don’t stop,” said Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, of the Ducks.

The Ducks’ pressure made Stuart’s empty-netter ever so important, though the goal looked more like a billiard shot that Howard jokingly compared to the old Michael Jordan/Larry Bird TV commercials.

Stuart’s shot toward the half wall between the team benches caromed off the boards and stayed far enough ahead of Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, who couldn’t catch up to the puck as it crossed the goal line just inside the right post.

“I kind of felt like I was at a curling rink just watching it slowly turn,” Stuart said. “I had a good view point of it, and I was just hoping that it would keep turning and it did. It was nice not to have that pressure to defend them right to the end.”

Moments earlier, as the Wings were killing off a two-minute penalty to Jonathan Ericsson, Stuart helped Howard on a dangerous shot by Ducks forward Teemu Selanne. With the two Wings on their knees after Howard covered up the puck to get a stop in the action, the Wings goalie patted his defenseman on top of his helmet as a sign of solidarity.

Asked what Howard communicated to him afterwards, Stuart said, “Nothing really. It’s just unspoken. He did a good job and I tried to tie up the stick coming through and he covered it up, so it was just a good combination of plays.”

And they’re the kind of plays that Stuart prefers to make now in his career.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

 

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80