As expected, Dallas was a hornets nest to start the game. Cholowski’s first shift came about 2:30 into the game and he got pick pocketed by two Stars on Detroit’s red line, then received a bad pass, so I basically expect Blash to personally drive him to Edmonton when he’s traded to Holland for future considerations tomorrow.
In the early going the only group to get offensive pressure going for Detroit was Ras’s line with Staal and Stetcher on the back end. Gagner even got a fairly dangerous chance off a lucky bounce, and while it was indeed a lucky bounce off a skate that Khudobin unfortunately stopped, I’ve gotta say Gagner has been really growing on me over the last ten games after being getting a solid “meh” from me through the first 20 or so games. He’s that middle-six guy who is defensively sound and can chip in on offense that every team needs.
Certain WiiM writers are pushing up his stock for entirely non-hockey related reasons, too.
oof, Bobby Ryan tee’d up a perfect opportunity for Ras in the crease in front of Khudobin, but he was harried just enough by the Dallas defenseman that he couldn’t get a shot off. Still waiting for his first of the season. Ras has done a lot of thing rights for this team and it would be great to see him finally rewarded.
Larkin committed the first called penalty of the game with about seven minutes remaining in the period: slashing. Never mind that DeKeyser took a stick to the face earlier or that Larkin got grappled through the neutral zone more than once. Former Flint Firebird Ty Dellandrea was stonewalled by Greiss on the doorstep, but otherwise Detroit’s penalty kill didn’t give Dallas much space and had several good clears.
Nick Caamano was soon after called for tripping Dylan Larkin. The Wings really wanted to set up Zadina for the one-timer, but the passing lanes were just a little too cluttered to get off any decent passes.
In the waning minutes of the period, Detroit opened up the game and cracked Dallas’s neutral zone. Fabbri got a great chance to give the Wings the lead, but Khudobin was up for his challenge to keep the game even at zeroes.
Score: 0-0 Tie
Shots: 9-5 Dallas
Stand Ups: The team effort in the early going to prevent Dallas from setting the tone was impressive
Sit Downs: High-danger opportunities
The game went over five minutes before anything really recap-worthy. Greiss made the save of the game thus far, though, as Dallas crashed the net and got two shots on net through traffic.
There was a follow-up sequence a few minutes later where Detroit got an even better opportunity, despite Larkin being harried constantly. Just a frustrating theme over the course of the season to see him constantly interfered with. I understand that it’s something star players struggle with, but like, last season sucked. Throw us a bone or something, NHL. Heaven knows you didn’t in the draft.
Dallas crashed Greiss’s net again in the second half of the period and actually scored thanks to a wicked inside foot shot from Gurianov. Easiest no-goal call I’ve ever seen to keep this game tied at zero.
To give you an idea of how little drama has been in this second, Mick went on about the French Connection in Buffalo for like, three minutes uninterrupted. The FS-D crew was briefly interrupted by a neat feed from Zadina to Gagner, but they then went back to making fun of Mickey Redmond because he’s old.
Zadina had a great opportunity to take the lead for Detroit off a bad-angle shot on an open net on a 3-on-2, but instead it would be Dallas scoring the first goal on a 3-on-2 shortly later, with Jamie Oleksiak feeding a streaking Tanner Kero, who had what was honestly a really nice fake to slide the puck under Greiss and make it 1-0 Stars.
(In case anyone else is anxious over Cholowski’s performance tonight, he was on the ice for the goal against, but only because of a line change behind the play.)
Some lazy play by Detroit would lead to a tripping penalty on Rasmussen to give Dallas another opportunity on the power play. Detroit’s penalty kill continued to look pretty good though. Dallas would get the opportunity to continue on the power play at the start of the third period.
Score: 1-0 Dallas
Shots: 23-12 Dallas
Stand Ups: Zadina, Gagner, Stetcher
Sit Downs: Me, falling asleep in my chair
The PK continued to look good, killing off Dallas’s powerplay without consequence.
Detroit continued to spin its wheels against Dallas’s smothering neutral zone play, something that had plagued Detroit since the second period, but mid way through the period Detroit started to find some footing, hitting the blue line with speed, especially Larkin.
Dallas would go on to score on a seemingly harmless long range wrister via Andrej Sekera to make it 2-0 Dallas. Blah.
Fabbri was in all alone on Khudobin and nearly made it cut the Stars’ lead to 1, but Dobby continued to frustrate Detroit’s skaters. Fabbri then got called for tripping with 8 minutes remaining, really hurting Detroit’s chances of making a comeback. The Wings would get so, so close to getting out of that penalty, but in the fading seconds as Roope Hintz drove the net, Patrik Nemeth misplayed his coverage. Hintz lost control of the puck but Ty Dellandrea regained it and fired the shot past Greiss to make it 3-0 Stars.
Hintz would get called for tripping Hronek with around 3 minutes left. Detroit would have some solid movement on the power play, but just couldn’t generate enough chaos in front of the net to capitalize.
So 3-0 would be how it would end. Tough break for the Wings, but hey, winning streaks are overrated.
Score: 3-0 Dallas
Shots: 33-21 Dallas
Stand Ups: Gagner, Stetcher
Sit Downs: The Power Play
This game really wasn’t as bad as the score looked. Until the third period Detroit had the more dangerous looks, but they just couldn’t get enough pucks on net. The transition game was good though, and the penalty kill was strong. I’m not going to fault the PK for that dumb third goal, anyway. The refs were keen to let a lot of interference go, which just got tiresome to see.
Cholowski looked pretty solid, though. He was responsible in his own end, his positioning was good, and he added some urgency and hustle to the team. Gagner and Stetcher had some real solid games, too.