What a crowd.
21 consecutive home victories. No team has ever done that in the regular season. Detroit came out of the gate looking like they had all the motivation they needed to make it happen, jumping out to a 2-0 lead early. Dallas fought back, but the Wings were simply the better team on their way to a 3-1 victory.
Detroit earned three more power play chances than the Stars in this one and went 1-for-5 on them. They also held the Stars off the board in their chances. Even with the PP cooling down later, I felt the puck movement was more dangerous than it had been during earlier struggles. They do still need work with zone entries however, often falling victim to a stacked blue-line instead of dumping the puck in and retrieving it. Detroit outshot Dallas 37-21, winning the count on the clock in every period.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 07:57 - Detroit Goal (PP): Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom
The Penalty - Jamie Benn (interference on goaltender): Benn just straight-up runs MacDonald and goes to the box for being stupid. No adjustment.
Detroit picks off a Lehtonen clearing attempt at the boards, as Franzen feeds it back to Lidstrom at the point. TPH moves towards the center of the ice to make room for Datsyuk coming up the zone. Datsyuk receives the pass and skates to the top of the circle to draw the defenders to him before going to Zetterberg at the low point. Z turns, skates at the net, and tries to feed a pass across the crease to Ian White sneaking in. Mark Fistric blocks the pass, but it goes right back to Zetterberg, who now has an open net to shoot in as Lehtonen has moved across his crease to square up on White. Good setup play by the Wings' PP here. White will get a non-touch assist for being the target here. Franzen will also pick up a half non-touch assist and a half-third-assist (I still hate typing that). Mule is the one with the keep-in and he's also tying up defenders in front of the net when the Wings start crashing in on goal.
1st Period 09:15 - Detroit Goal: Brad Stuart (slap shot) from Darren Helm
Less than 90 seconds later, Detroit doubles the lead. Darren Helm wins a faceoff against Jamie Benn. The puck goes straight back to Brad Stuart, who takes a step in and towards the boards to open up a shooting angle. Stuart's half-slapper goes through a good bit of traffic and beats Lehtonen for what would be the game-winner. Darren Helm will get a plus for winning the faceoff cleanly and Drew Miller will get the screener's assist. Lehtonen definitely picks up this puck late.
Penalty Adjustment: About halfway through the 2nd, Brad Stuart is finishing a great shift where he has just sprung Jiri Hudler for a partial breakaway and has now angled Steve Ott off the puck with a very good move. Ott slashes Stuart on the wrist for his trouble and goes to the box for it. This is more stupidity by Ott than great work by Stu, but it will earn Stuart a half-plus.
Goal-Saved Adjustment: Just about 7 minutes into the 2nd period, Brad Stuart gets a stick on a Steve Ott chance from right in front of the Detroit net. I can't say for certain that this absolutely would have been a goal without Stuart deflecting it over the net, as MacDonald was actually in decent position, but I like not having had to find out. Stuart will get a half-plus.
Penalty Adjustment: 16 minutes into the 2nd period, the Wings get caught running around in their own zone and start making mistakes. Turnovers by both Brad Stuart and Darren Helm lead to chances that they have to kill. Finally, Kronwall gets nabbed for holding and the Stars get a power play. Kronwall, Stuart, and Helm are all going to get minuses on this play.
Penalty Adjustment: At 6:26 of the third, Darren Helm draws one as he dumps the puck into the Dallas zone and skates to retrieve. Instead of turning and losing the race, Philip Larsen takes a step into Helm's path and goes to the box for it. This will be a plus for Darren Helm.
3rd Period 15:11 - Detroit Goal: Jiri Hudler (wrist shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Ian White
A great feed and a line change widens the gap to three goals. Stephane Robidas dumps a puck in that Ian White tips on the far side boards to keep Mike Ribeiro from gathering it cleanly. Bertuzzi eliminates Mickey Ribs on the boards, which allows White to pick it back up and move it to Filppula coming out of the zone on the far side interior wing. Flip carries wide with speed as Bertuzzi changes for Hudler behind the play and Datsyuk trails in the middle. After hitting the blue line, Flip cuts across the ice, drawing both Dallas defenders to him. Once he does this, Filppula saucers a pass into an area that Hudler skates in to and collects the puck. Hudler uses one touch to control the puck from the top of the circle and lets his momentum take him to the right hash marks of the slot before firing a wrister past Lehtonen. Bertuzzi will pick up an assist and a plus for making this play happen.
Penalty Adjustment: at 17:23 of the third, Darren Helm goes off for hooking Philip Larsen in the Detroit zone. This looked like a pre-determined penalty just waiting to happen, and it was weak compared to the standard, but Helm did get his stick parallel and will get a minus for it.
3rd Period 19:27 - Dallas Goal: Adam Burish (tip in) from Michael Ryder and Loui Eriksson
The Stars ruin the shutout, but can't kill the mood in the closing moments. At the very end of the Dallas power play, Loui Eriksson picks up a puck off the stick of Jonathan Ericsson and feeds it to Adam Burish going behind the Detroit net. Burish comes out the other side and throws a backhander through the crease to Michael Ryder standing on the opposite side at the top of the circle. Ryder shoots it back Burish's way and the Stars' forward redirects it into the far side of the net with his skate. This one is slightly more of a kicking motion than the George Parros goal last Friday, but it's still one that I think should have counted anyway. Being the end of a penalty kill where the penalized player had not gotten back into the play, I'm going to clear the minuses for Abdelkader, Miller, Stuart, Helm, and Ericsson for giving up what is essentially still a power play goal. However, Ericsson is going to earn back a minus for the turnover to Eriksson and a minus for being on the wrong side of the net. Burish is his responsibility there and he's nowhere near his position.
1st Period 14:13 - Adam Burish (roughing): Burish is a donkey. Here, he throws a punch at Jakub Kindl right after the whistle goes and tries to play it off like he lost his balance.
2nd Period 12:58 - Steve Ott (high sticking): Shortly after coming out of the box for a slash, Ott goes back in for high-sticking Jonathan Ericsson.
2nd Period 18:32 - Vernon Fiddler and Drew Miller (roughing): Robidas also deserved a slashing penalty for this, but nobody gets an adjustment on the even-up.
3rd Period 15:11 - Mike Ribeiro decides that the Hudler goal is as much as he can stand and gets himself a misconduct so he can beat his teammates to the locker room. What a crybaby.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi, and Johan Franzen: These three played a fantastic game, combining for a +28 corsi differential. Datsyuk was the best of the three while skating, but his 5-8 faceoff record brings him down a little bit.
+1 to Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, & Drew Miller: Detroit's third line may be the best in the league at consistently winning the head-to-head matchup. They gave the Dvorak-Fiddler-Nystrom line fits and kept the play in the Dallas zone for long stretches.
+1 to Ian White, +0.5 to Nicklas Lidstrom: I was very impressed with White's level of play. He actually bailed Lidstrom out on a 2-on-1 created by a bad pinch by TPH. That was the Captain's only mistake of the night though, as he consistently made great plays.
+1 to Brad Stuart: This was one of his best games all season long. He was more active than usual in the offensive zone and a beast in his own end.
Jakub Kindl seemed to switch back and forth between good shifts and shaky shifts. He's still working on his confidence and I'm excited to see it come back. Emmerton and Mursak had decent games as well. The Wings' 2nd line had a handful of great chances, but I still feel there's a bit too much passing going on there.
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