Detroit flew into the American Airlines Center to welcome about 7,000 of their local fans to watch a game between the Wings and the Stars. The game was chippy and it was crappy and it was exactly the kind of game the Stars wanted to play. As a result, it took the much-better Red WIngs a shootout to get the job done 3-2.
The Wings got four power play opportunities to Dallas' two. That's nice. There wasn't a lot called in this game and I feel that it favored the Stars. I'm sure Stars fans disagree with me on that. That's also nice.
The Wings went 0-fer on their chances and surrendered a goal to the vaunted Stars power play. Detroit got some good looks with the man advantage, but couldn't solve the mystery that is Richard Bachman and the defense which did a good job of clearing rebounds away from him. Overall, Detroit outshot Dallas 32-27.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 06:41 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Holmstrom (slap shot) from Justin Abdelkader and Jan Mursak
Dallas enters the Detroit zone on a rush and gets a good scoring chance as Sheldon Souray jumps up into the play and chucks a shot on net from the top of the circle. The puck bounces off the traffic in front and goes behind Conklin just wide of the net. Radek Dvorak gets his stick on the puck just behind the goal line and tries to feed it back out front, but Abdelkader gets his skate on it, pushes it up to his stick, and then makes a short outlet to Jan Mursak leaving the zone up the middle of the ice. Souray has gotten back on defense by this point and he, with Robidas, force Mursak to dump-and-chase. Mursak does just this and uses his speed and aggression to cut in front of Robidas and steal it from Bachman behind the net. Mursak quickly throws it out front where it goes through Justin Abdelkader as he tires to jam it in on the side and deflects straight to Tomas Homstrom crashing straight up the middle. Homer steps into a slapper from about 15 feet and opens the scoring. Mursak's speed and hustle creates this turnover and he'll earn a 1.5 bonus plus on the play. Abdelkader will also get a bonus plus for his work in front of the net to outlet and create the zone exit.
1st Period 10:59 - Dallas Goal (PP): Brenden Morrow (tip in) from Alex Goligoski and Stephane Robidas
The Penalty - Ian White (interference): What pisses me off about this play is that Valtteri Filppula gets lazily tripped by Vernon Fiddler as he enters the Stars zone about five seconds before this penalty happens. The Stars get it to the point where Michael Ryder pokes it past Ian White and threatens to start an odd-man rush the other way. White goes out of his way to put body contact on Ryder away from the puck and goes to the box when Ryder loses his balance and falls down. Still. Ian White can't control that this play shouldn't have happened due to a whistle that should have blown, but he could have controlled the fact that the play shouldn't have happened because he should have played the puck better. White will get a minus
On the Dallas penalty, they get a deflection in to tie it up. After an initial clear, Dallas almost scores off the rush as Goligoski hits Loui Eriksson far too open on the wing. Eriksson uses his speed to turn the corner and actually make a move to the front of the net. Conklin stops this and the puck moves to the corner where Stuart and Cleary battle Morrow and Wandell. Cleary comes out of the scrum with it, but before he can escape behind the net, Loui Eriksson angles him off, steals the puck, and feeds it back to Robidas at the point. Robidas sets it to Goligoski in the middle of the ice at the point for a slap shot that goes through traffic and deflects off Brenden Morrow's leg into the net. Despite it being a power play goal, I feel full minuses are warranted for the coverage of Stuart and the turnover by Cleary. Niklas Kronwall will also pull a half-minus for the coverage on Morrow which allows him to deflect it in..
1st Period 16:28 - Dallas Goal: Loui Eriksson (backhand) from Sheldon Souray and Adam Burish
Later in the first, Dallas takes the lead on a very good job of crashing the net. Nicklas Grossman dumps the puck from center for Bertuzzi to get to on the far side half-boards. Bert immediately reverses it to Lidstrom in the far corner, who tries to help it out of the zone by sweeping it farther up the boards. Unfortunately, Abdelkader is too far inside the boards and the puck gets by him. Adam Burish steps into it at the point, but flubs the shot. The puck rolls to the half-boards where Loui Eriksson picks it up and sweeps it to Morrow behind the net. Morrow fakes like he's going to reverse the play and instead throws it farther behind the net where Burish, who has followed his shot all the way down picks it up. Burish immediately goes to Sheldon Souray at the top of the zone. While Bertuzzi cuts off his lane directly to the net Souray steps to the inside and slaps it at the traffic developing just to the side. The puck hits the stick of Loui Eriksson right in front and lays just to the outside of Conklin's stick. Here, Eriksson jabs at the puck (with a broken stick) and puts the rebound in the net to give Dallas the lead. I don't like that it was played in to the net with a stick that looks like it was broken before he plays the rebound, but that doesn't matter. The turnover in the zone by Lidstrom and Abdelkader is the key point. I feel that it's more Abdelkader's fault for not covering up the boards like he's supposed to. The player's primary responsibility is there. The pass isn't good by Lidstrom though. Abdelkader will get a full minus and Lidstrom will get a half-minus. However, Lidstrom will also pick up another half-minus on the coverage of Loui Eriksson letting him step into position here. Nobody will have his minus cleared on this play though, as the puck went through all five coverage areas.
2nd Period 01:43 - Detroit Goal: Jiri Hudler (backhand) from Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg (and Alex Goligoski)
Detroit gets a gift to tie it early in the second. The Wings separate Dallas from the puck at center and cycle back into their own zone to set the breakout. Kronwall goes to Ericsson at the half-boards. E can't grab the pass cleanly, but recovers and gets it to Zetterberg at the blue line. While two Stars converge on Z, he turns and throws a forehand pass across the ice to Valtteri FIlppula streaking on the other side. Flip gains the Dallas blue line with speed and cuts in towards the middle between Goligoski to his front and Loui Eriksson to his back. As he does this, the entire Stars defensive box begins to collapse on him. Flip, now facing the boards, throws a pass to Jiri Hudler joining the rush on the wing to collect at the circle. Hudler gets it to the dot before trying to go back across the grain to Henrik Zetterberg skating in on the weak side. Instead, the pass attempt deflects off the skate of Alex Goligoski out front and into the net to tie it up. Ericsson and Kronwall will each earn assists for their part on the breakout. Zetterberg and Filppula will earn bonus half-pluses for the way they handled the pressure and kept the play moving against the pressure defense.
Penalty Adjustment (x2): 3:48 into the third, the Wings get whistled for too-many men. They're in the middle of changing their D on a breakout when the rush gets stymied by a Dallas trap. Zetterberg goes to Filppula, who turns back toward his own zone and tries to get a guy moving into the zone with speed in the form of Brad Stuart. Unfortunately, Mike Commodore wasn't off the ice when Stuart receives the puck and the Wings get caught for having six. This is a combination of bad timing here by all three players. Filppula needs to recognize that Commodore isn't close enough to the bench, Stuart needs to know not to touch the puck and Commodore needs to hustle off the ice a little better. All three of Filppula, Commodore, and Stuart will pull a half-minus for this mistake. The Wings' PK is short-lived here though as Datsyuk pulls a puck out of a net-front scrum and heads around the back of the cage with it. Tom Wandell is in tow trying to recover the puck and he ends up hooking Pavel, who has great body position on him. Datsyuk will earn a plus.
Penalty Adjustment: Late in the OT period, the Stars get the puck behind their own net and try to break out. Alex Goligoski misses Stephane Robidas with a four-foot pass and the puck goes right to Franzen in the middle. Robidas has his momentum going the right way, so Mule takes a step around him as the Dallas D-man scrambles to make a play. Robidas misses his poke-check attempt and brings Franzen down as the Mule tries to step around him. I'm a little torn on this play, since I feel it's a very good penalty for Robidas to have taken to prevent what very likely would have been a goal in a way that put his team down a man for only 17 seconds. I'm perhaps a little upset at Franzen for not shooting it immediately as well. However, Mule is in the right place and he makes the right move. I'm going to award Franzen a half-plus.
1st Period 18:57 - Tom Wandell (holding): Datsyuk and Wandell make incidental contact at center ice and Wandell kind of loses his balance. He reacts by groping Datsyuk like a lonely TSA agent. It's a mistake by Wandell, but not a drawn call.
3rd Period 07:29 - Mark Fistric (interference): Danny Cleary brings a puck up the wing in the Dallas zone and feeds it out front. Almost immediately after making the pass, Fistric finishes Cleary into the boards. This one is such a tough, close call on a split-second decision between a good play and a late check. I don't think this one actually should have been a penalty, but let's call it easy for an earlier charge that Fistric got away with. Either way, it's not a drawn penalty.
+1 to Valtteri Filppula & Henrik Zetterberg: A pure defensive dynamo on the puck tonight and very dangerous when forechecking, Filppula was again incredibly good. While Z didn't do as good of a job retrieing pucks, he did a much better job of keeping them on his stick. These two led the Wings in even-strength Corsi thanks to some very strong play.
+1 to Ian White: Aside from taking better than one out of every five Red Wings shots on the night, White was very good at moving the puck up ice and getting chances for his team.
Pretty much the rest of the team is an honorable mention. With the crappy ice surface and the playing the night before, this game was pretty much a guaranteed snoozer. I thought some guys did better than others, but mostly the Wings struggled to create flow in a game that there wasn't much chance of turning exciting. Mike Commodore had one noticeably good shift in the third, but that just made up for his one noticeably bad shift in the first. Overall, I like what he did in this one. Datsyuk was probably the closest to a plus (or maybe Hudler), but I wanted to see more out of our top six guys.
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