At the American Airlines Center, the Dallas Stars (11-13-4) snapped a four-game winning streak for the Detroit Red Wings (19-5-4) in a 3-1 loss. While a loss to the Stars in previous seasons wouldn't be a huge cause for concern as they're typically a strong hockey team, this year's Stars sit at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, have caught the injury bug, and had to deal with the whole Sean Avery "sloppy seconds" comments.
Dallas goaltender Marty Turco (and U-M alum) has had a rough season thus far, but was able to make 37 saves in the Stars win. Turco improved to 3-10-4 in regular season games against Detroit. Wings defenseman Brett Lebda scored Detroit's only goal at the 6:05 mark in the first period. Forward Jiri Hudler made a great feed to Lebda from across the ice in the Dallas zone to the bottom of the face-off circle to the right of Turco. He then brings it closer to the net and pops it up behind Turco. Dan Cleary also tallied an assist on the goal to give him eight points in five games.
The Stars did not get on the board until the second period, but scored two goals in a span of 1:40. Rookie Tom Wandell earned his first NHL career goal when he stole the puck from Kirk Maltby to Ty Conklin's right and then proceeded to take a smooth backhanded shot. It was just Wandell's second NHL game. He had been playing for Timra in the Swedish Elite League this year where he had 24 points in 28 games, but the rash of Dallas injuries resulted in him being called up.
Swedish rookie forward Fabian Brunnstrom, who the Wings had courted last spring, tallied his ninth goal of the season when he made a quick fake shot before he actually took a wristshot from the slot. His goal at 7:27 into the second ultimately proved to be the game winner.
Despite 29 shots on Turco in the second and third periods, Detroit was unable to get back on the scoreboard giving them their first loss since November 29th. Mike Ribeiro solidified the Stars' lead with an empty netter with just one minute left in the game for his second offensive point of the night.
Ty Conklin started for the third straight game and stopped 21 shots in the loss.
Head coach Mike Babcock told Ansar Khan for MLive.com:
"Give them credit, they battled hard. And we couldn't shoot it in the net,'' Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We had lots of opportunities (outshooting Dallas 38-24). I thought they did a good job of clogging up the neutral zone and found a way to get two points. They needed it bad. I didn't think it was because we didn't play hard.''
Christy's Red Wings Player of the Game: Jiri Hudler
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The Wings play Saturday night against the Coyotes in Phoenix.