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Morning Skate: Who shot JR?

The California Golden Seals were sold to the Cleveland Barons owner who also bought the North Stars. The two teams merged, so it's somewhat relevant right?
The California Golden Seals were sold to the Cleveland Barons owner who also bought the North Stars. The two teams merged, so it's somewhat relevant right?

Traveling to Dallas has never been fun for the Wings and they're on their way there again. Detroit is coming off a much needed win, 4-1 over the Hurricanes, after dropping the game on Long Island 6-0. 

  • First off, today's game is at 2 p.m. , not a night game. In fact, both games this weekend are day games. Game is on FS-Detroit.
  • James "Tiberius" Howard, as he is being called these days (Star Trek reference, probably the only one I'll ever make, in addition to KHAN!) starts his 11th straight game in net tonight. Just as a point of reference, the last game that Chris Osgood started was all the way back on December 20th, a 3-0 loss to Chicago.
  • Since Jimmy's streak began, he has gone 6-3-1 with a 1.80 GAA (if my math is right). He's only allowed one goal in 6 of the 10 games, pretty amazing if you ask me.
  • Last time Detroit faced Dallas, it was in Dallas the night before a game in Chicago. Sound familiar? It should because that's exactly what this weekend is. Perhaps this weekend will be a different result as the Wings dropped the game against Dallas 4-3 and got shut-out the next day in Chicago 3-0.
  • Looking at the calendar, it's the last time the Wings face the Stars this season. Dallas has 2-1 lead in the four game series but Detroit can even it up against a team that has struggled mightily lately. Dallas started out fairly strong but has slipped into a tie with Anaheim for last in the Pacific division.
  • Around "The Nation", there are some great posts on the hockey sites lately. Blueshirt Banter goes The Onion path with a postThe Curious Case of Peter Mueller is examined by Five For Howling, Battle of California's LA Kings casting call yield some good laughs, Bird Watchers Anonymous recaps the Kovalchuk "trade offers", On the Forecheck examines the Preds' relationship with Sports Authority, and Copper & Blue re-lives Bill Masterson's last game
  • Defending Big D is the Dallas Stars SB Nation affiliate. Head over there to check out some stuff pre-game. Or to the  Red Wings vs Stars game page for any stories linked to the game. Defending Big D has a great article up on the Dallas centers as well.
  • Brad Richards is the stud of this Dallas offense. 13 goals and 40 assists are great numbers from him and he has a heck of a shot to go with good "hockey sense"
  • Seems as if Turco won't be in net for Dallas tonight. Likely to start is Alex Auld. This means no Tomas Holmstrom vs. Marty Turco unfortunately. 
  • Star to watch: From the mouth, or fingers of Brandon Worley (Defending Big D bossman), Jamie Benn as the second line center. 
  • Stars out: Mike Ribiero (C) and Niklas Grossman (D)
  • Ville's in the pressbox again it seems. 
  • Way to beat the Stars: Um...pretty much just play like they did against Carolina and take care of the puck. Keep the puck away from Richards & Co. and in Auld's end.  
  • Key match-up to watch when the Red Wings are on the attack: See if the top line of Bertuzzi-Datsyuk-Zetterberg makes more progress. They got some good rushes going last game and Datsyuk could find the creases in the Dallas defensive zone to make plays happen.
  • Key match-up to watch when the Stars are on the attack: No doubt about it, it has to be the scary attack of Brad Richards, James Neal, and Loui Eriksson. The trio has a total of 50 goals, 37% of the Stars season total. 
  • Red Wings lines:

  • Dallas lines:
    Neal - Richards - Eriksson
    Morrow - Benn - Lehtinen
    Ott - Wandell - Brunnstrom
    Barch - Modano - Petersen

    Niskanen - Robidas
    Skrastins - Daley
    Fistric - Woywitka
  • Pre-game video:
  • and yes, he said Brett Hull.