Red Wings 5, Stars 3
– The league’s best team had officially ended its slump, riding a four-game winning streak into a matchup with the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
But Detroit fell behind two goals in the second period, and the exit-strategy looked in doubt.
Enter, Pavel Datsyuk
The Red Wings white-hot forward scored twice and added an assist in a 5-3 come-from-behind victory. Datsyuk now holds an eight-game point streak, notching 11 points. Datsyuk now holds an eight-game point streak.
The win gave Detroit 100-points for an NHL record-tying eight straight seasons, matching the Montreal Canadiens’ streak from 1974-75 to 1981-82. The Red Wings also tied up a playoff birth and clinched a
seventh consecutive Central Division title.
“We’ve been real consistent,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom
said. “Been able to adapt to the new system too, with the salary cap and everything. We’ve still been able to put away wins, to put a competitive team on the ice, too. We should give a lot of credit to management, ownership, and coaching staff as well, for what’s been done here in the last few years.”
|Johan Franzen turns to see the puck head past Stars goalie Marty Turco on Thursday. The re-direct was Franzen's six goal in five games.
Detroit (47-18-6) now has a 10-point lead over San Jose, its closest competition in the Western Conference playoff race.
Datsyuk begun the Red Wings’ rally at 16:17 of the second period. Jiri Hudler forced a turnover along the boards, and Datsyuk banged a rebound past a down-and-out Marty Turco to cut the Stars’ lead to 3-2.
Datsyuk knotted the game at three on the opening shift of the third period, beating Turco with a quick release. And 40 seconds later, Detroit got its first lead of the night. With a flurry in the Dallas crease and Turco rolling around on his back, Mikael Samuelsson backhanded a second shot at the net through bodies. Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas tipped the puck by his own netminder for the 4-3 Detroit advantage.
The two quick goals prompted a Joe Louis Arena fan favorite — the Turco chant. Turco hasn’t won in 10 career starts at JLA, and has only beaten Detroit once in regulation — a 1-0 win over the Wings on Feb. 17 — in his seven-year NHL career.
Although he let in two of the first eight shots he faced, Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood
saved his best for the third period. With under a minute to play, Osgood snared Niklas Hagman’s shot to preserve the win. He made 16 saves.
“I thought he was a little bit jumpy early, but I thought he settled right in and played real well for us,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “In the third period, the only way you have an opportunity to come back is if Ozzie shuts the door. If he gives up one, you’re done. He did a real good job, and our guys were able to respond for him.”
added an empty-net tally with five seconds left.
The game didn’t start in Detroit’s favor. Dallas scored on just the second shift of the game. Trevor Daley’s point shot sailed through traffic past Osgood for the early 1-0 lead.
continued build his Tomas Holmstrom
-like reputation on the power play midway through the period. Standing atop the crease, Franzen deflected Lidstrom’s shot by Turco. Franzen now has six goals during a five-game goal-scoring streak.
“Homer’s gonna have to get his act together if he gets back,” joked Babcock.
The Stars (42-26-5) repeated their quick-strike offense to open the second. Jere Lehtinen scored to take a 2-1 lead just 44 seconds into the period. Brendan Morrow’s power play tally at 13:42 of the second period built a 3-1 lead for the Stars.
“Tonight was an important game to us,” said Lidstrom, who had two assists Thursday. “We wanted to measure ourselves against a team that’s been playing real well, that beat us in their building not too long ago.”
GAME NOTES: Kris Draper
(groin tear), Dominik Hasek (back), Holmstrom (abdominal), Dan Cleary
(fractured jaw) and Andreas Lilja (flu) missed the game. Brett Lebda returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch Tuesday against Chicago. … With Draper out, center 21-year-old Darren Helm
played his first NHL game, logging seven minutes of ice time. … Detroit won the season-series over Dallas, 3-1.
|Three star selections