On an afternoon in which the Detroit Red Wings had a 33-21 advantage in shots and a 63-33 attempts advantage on the road against the Dallas Stars, it would seem likely that they would get two points out of it.
But a series of bad defensive plays, odd bounces, and a mediocre performance by Jimmy Howard negated a pair of three-point performances by Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk gave the Stars the 4-3 victory Saturday afternoon.
Karlis Skrastins had two goals for the Stars, including the game-winner 1:16 into the third period.
The game featured the sixth battle in the epic struggle between Brad May and Krystofer Barch. Both sides got in strong punches, but the battle finished effectively as a draw. Afterwards May was seen laughing with Barch between the penalty boxes.
In the first period, Bertuzzi was driving towards the Dallas net and took a shot on Marty Turco. Turco was able to put a stick on it, but in the process of trying to push the puck out of the crease, misplayed it. As it popped into the air, Tomas Holmstrom took a swing at the puck to a wide open net, and connected to get his 13th goal of the year.
In the second, Mike Ribeiro took the puck after a dump into the corner to the left of Howard. Four Red Wings tracked towards him, which left Skrastins wide open to the right of Howard. Skrastins didn't miss for his first goal of the season, making it 1-1.
Richards skated in direct along the boards. He passed it to James Neal in front of the net. The puck went off the toe of his skate, then deflected off Bertuzzi's stick and past a moving Howard to make it 2-1 Stars.
Three minutes later, Bertuzzi came in across the blue line and the puck went lightly off Datsuyk and past a completely stunned Turco. It was Datsuyk's eighth.
Sixty-six seconds later, Skrastin's shot from 55 feet away was stick saved by Howard. But Howard lost track of the puck as it went into the air and landed on Neal's stick. He didn't even pause, putting it past a surprised Howard for his second of the afternoon to jump the Stars back out in front.
With 60 seconds left, Datsuyk skated around the back of the Stars net, draped in Skrastins. He pushed the pust towards Bertuzzi, who slapped it in past Turco for his 10th of the season and third point of the night. It was 3-3 going into the third period.
But only 76 seconds into the third, Brad Richards sends a backhand to Skrastins, who put it along the far post against an out-of-position Howard. It was the second of the game and his third point of the afternoon to get the winner.
The Wings head to Chicago Sunday to take on the Blackhawks at Madison Avenue.
Player of the game: Pavel Datsuyk. In addition to the goal and two assists, Datsuyk was completely in the zone, with crisp, heads-up passing and smart playmaking.