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It’s Benn A Long Night: Wings Go Down Easy 5-1

NHL: Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit enters tonight’s matchup with Dallas eight points out of the last wild card spot. Dallas is currently one point up on Vancouver for the last wild card spot in the West.

At least there hasn’t been anything in the last couple of days that would make the Stars play harder tonight or anythin....

Haha, just kidding. Stars CEO Jim Lites decided that it was a good idea to publicly call out forwards Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. And by “call out,” I mean he called them “fucking horseshit.” So you can expect those two to come out with a fire lit under them. Or maybe they’ll continue to play like fucking horseshit. I guess we’ll have to see.

I really hope I’m wrong here, but I anticipate this being a very tough game for Detroit, with the potential to go very badly.

First Period

Seguin and Benn didn’t score on their first shift tonight, so that’s a better start for Detroit than I was worried about.

Dallas gets the first sustained pressure of the night, as Nick Jensen has trouble clearing the puck, leading to several shots that Jonathan Bernier turns aside.

Janmark nearly had a great chance, but Ericsson was able to get a stick on it to knock it away. The first five minutes of this game has been very choppy, with neither team able to get anything going.

Cholowski is paired with Filip Hronek tonight, which I am extremely here for. Both of them have played well (Hronek since getting called up recently), and I think that putting them together makes a lot of sense.

After nine minutes, the shots are 3 for Detroit and 4 for Dallas. It honestly feels like that is a little high with how this game has gone so far. The choppy feel from the first five minutes has continued, which is good for the road team, but not tremendously exciting to watch.

Ehn was nearly run from behind into the boards, but the Star player let up at the last minute. Good thing because that was shaping up to be a really bad hit.

Dallas has picked it up a bit with 8 minutes left in the first. They had two shots in a row, which for this game is a veritable flurry of pucks on net.

The ice seems to be at least part of the issue for the choppy play, as the puck hops on Dylan Larkin as he was crossing the blue line on a 2-on-1 with Athanasiou. By the time Larkin was able to get the pass off, the Dallas defenseman was able to get back to block the pass.

The Stars honored Trevor Daley on his 1000th game (a couple games ago).

The line of Larkin, Athanasiou, and Abdelkader was able to finally get some sustained offensive zone time with about 4 minutes left in the period, for I think the first time in the game.

The game has opened up a bit at both ends, particularly at the end the Red Wings are defending.

Seguin passes to Devin Shore for a good chance. Bernier has played well so far, doing well with the shots he’s faced.

With a minute left, Dallas had the best chance of the game on a one timer in the slot that went just wide. Detroit dodges a bullet, but then Abdelkader takes a penalty for hooking. Can’t argue with that one.

Fortunately for him and his teammates, Dallas doesn’t score before the period ends, and the man advantage will carry over to the 2nd period.

0-0 at the end of the first, after what was a mostly forgettable period.

Second Period

Detroit kills the rest of the power play. The Stars didn’t have a shot, although Radulov had a chance that went wide.

Cholowski is out with Jensen now, but it could just be due to the PK.

The next time out, it’s the same pairing. Hronek is now with Kronwall. Needless to say, I am not a fan of this change.

Blake Comeau makes it 1-0 due to poor defensive coverage. The coverage was so poor that it could have been Hronek’s or Megan’s man.

Watching the replay, it’s almost like Hronek and Kronwall weren’t on the same page, which is strange considering they have played together for several minutes at this point.

Larkin and Athanasiou do some good work to regain the puck and keep it in the offensive zone. The puck then comes to Abdelkader, who passes it to nobody.

Dylan Larkin is so keen on continuing his point streak, he tried to deflect a puck into his own net. OK, he didn’t try, but he did accidentally deflect the puck towards Bernier.

Radulov makes it 2-0 Stars with Kronwall and Hronek out there again. Another goal against with poor defensive zone coverage.

Jonathan Ericsson hooks Jamie Benn to prevent a shot off of a feed from Seguin and Detroit goes to the penalty kill with a very real chance of the wheels falling off if Dallas scores here.

And they do. After about 3 shots that looked like they were going to be goals, Alex Radulov shows Benn and Seguin what it takes to win at this level, diving for a loose puck and putting it in. You can bet that Jim Lites won’t be taking any potshots at Radulov.

(Takes tongue out of cheek)

It’s 3-0, and it should be. Dallas has outplayed Detroit so far, pretty severely in the second period.

The shots are 30 to 15 with 3 minutes left, and again that feels about right.

Cholowski had a good look at the net, but shot it wide to the left. Tyler Pitlick picks the pocket of Jonathan Ericsson and passes to Janmark for a good chance. Dallas could very easily have 5 or 6 goals. Just after that a puck ping pongs off players in front and nearly goes past Bernier.

It’s 3-0 at the end of the second period.

In case you’re wondering how Detroit is doing at preventing shots from good scoring areas, here you go:

Natural Stat Trick

Third Period

Maybe Detroit can turn it around.

Nope. Pitlick makes it 4-0 just over 30 seconds into the period off of a turnover. Assists to Faksa and Comeau.

Cholowski is now playing with Jensen because why not.

Filip Hronek makes a terrible pass to Jason Spezza. Spezza isn’t his teammate, which is why it was a terrible pass. Spezza rips it past Bernier to make it 5-0.

Detroit goes to the power play, their first of the night.

Larkin and Vanek are swapped from their normal spots, which doesn’t really seem to make much sen...and Larkin scores to make it 5-1.

Larkin did a great job to pounce on a loose puck and put it by Bishop to keep his point streak alive. It’s now at 13, and he is only 4 behind Zetterberg for the team record.

Daley nearly makes it 5-2 after a goal mouth scramble. The puck remained uncovered, but the referee lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle before Daley shot it into the open net. I want to be mad here, and the puck was definitely loose, but you can see why the referee would blow the whistle there. Also, there would have definitely been a challenge for goaltender interference on Justin Abdelkader.

Detroit goes to the power play again, and Dallas seems hell bent on making this game more competitive.

Athanasiou is stopped by Bishop on the power play’s best chance. Definitely not their best power play, but far from their worst.

Dylan Larkin took a stick in the ear that went unseen by the officials.

Detroit back to the power play with 8 minutes left.

Dallas gets the best chance of the ensuing 2 minutes, so yeah that PP was not good.

Gustav Nyquist scores to make it 5-2 with 8:42 left. Not surprisingly, Larkin was involved in the play, getting the primary assist. Also not surprisingly, Justin Abdelkader possibly interfered with Bishop, and so the play is under review. Abdelkader was in the crease and definitely made contact with Bishop before the shot.

And yep, Abdelkader nullifies the goal. 5-1.

Detroit goes back to the power play, and it’s like the officials are trying to make up for Detroit’s lack of power play time this season in one game.

The power play has looked completely discombobulated the last couple times out. They can’t get the puck into the zone, and when they do, they can’t get set up.

The one positive thing in this period is that the Detroit players are still fighting for pucks. The other positive thing is that the game is almost over and I can forget this game ever happened.

And it’s over. Final score 5-1, and other than one sustained burst in the third, Detroit was thoroughly outplayed.