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Morning Skate: Slowing Down The Stars

The Red Wings just might be back.

Three straight wins.  Two shutouts.  A chance to take nine of out 12 points from the six game home stand.  It would appear the hockey team we know and love is back on track in the 2011-12 season.

Those last two points won't be easy to come by though.  We might look at the Dallas Stars and see a team that's off to a hot start and will fade down the stretch, but this team shouldn't be taken lightly.  Dallas has owned the Wings a little bit in recent history.  The Stars took three of the four games between the two clubs last season.  They've won four of the last five at the Joe.  They won both games there last season.  The Stars have won nine of the last 12 against Detroit.  

With all that said, if the Wings play like they have lately, forecheck like they did last night and control the pace and flow of the game, recent history just might not matter.


Defending Big D is your SBNation Stars' blog.

Puck drop is just after 7p ET.


The Expected Lineup

Danny Cleary -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Tomas Holmstrom

Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Johan Franzen

Jiri Hudler -- Darren Helm -- Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller -- Cory Emmerton -- Patrick Eaves


Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jakub Kindl -- Jonathan Ericsson


Jimmy Howard

Ty Conklin


Scratches: Todd Bertuzzi (ill), Fabian Brunnstrom (healthy), and Mike Commodore (healthy)

Injuries: Jan Mursak (ankle)


11-4-0 Record 8-5-1
2.93 (10th) Goals Per Game 2.64 (18th)
2,40 (T-9th) Goals Against Per Game 2.21 (5th)
18.5% (T-11th) Power Play % 16.7% (T-17th)
81.3% (16th) Penalty Kill % 78.6% (21st)
Loui Eriksson (8 goals) Goal Leader Johan Franzen (8 goals)
Jamie Benn (18 pts) Points Leader Johan Franzen (14 pts)



  • The Red Wings are 101-96-34-5 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Stars' franchise.
  • After scoring six goals during the six-game losing streak, the Wings have outscored their opponents 13-2 during the three-game winning streak.
  • James TIberius Howard III is fourth in the league in GAA (1.63), tied for sixth in SV% (.934), and tied for the league lead in shutouts with three.  Kari Lehtonen is no slob either.  He's got a 2.20 GAA, .934 SV%, and leads the league in wins with 11.  Lehtonen is 3-3-0 all-time against the Wings with a 3.18 GAA and a .914 SV%.  
  • Franzen has a point in every Red Wings' win, but one.  He has not registered a point in any Red Wings' losses.  Key to the game: Feed the Mule.
  • Both teams played last night.  The Stars dropped a 3-1 contest to the Penguins of Pittsburgh.
  • Eric NYSTROM has a goal in each of his last four games.


Prediction: It's going to be a close game.  Dallas has played very well this season.  Wings streak continues and they win 3-2.  Pavel Datsyuk is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.