Rematch time for the first two losses in Dallas in this four game series. They’re in our house now. Of course, we’re missing even more people, including Dylan Larkin. Michael Rasmussen is our top center.
The Stars are playing Mark Pysyk at forward on a night where elsewhere in the league Brendan Smith scored a goal.
22 seconds into the game, Thomas Greiss has to make his first high-danger save. Buckle in. The good early news is that the Vrana-Rasmussen-Zadina line definitely looks like it could be fun if somehow the Wings can put together a few shifts from literally any other line.
7:20 in, Cholowski gets walked by Hintz and Greiss has to make a good save to prevent the puck from sliding through the five-hole on the backhand cross-crease deke.
Not long after that, the Stars learn that we do have a dangerous line, as Filip Zadina steals a pass, bulls into the zone, draws the defenders, then feeds it off to Jakub Vrana for a snap shot top shelf. 1-0 Wings.
I like that whole shooting it immediately thing.
Alternate quip: Talk about a Czech King line, eh?
The game settles for a bit after that, but yet another shift by the line I’m apparently going to talk about all night leads Dennis Cholowski to put a shot from the circle off the junction of the post/crossbar, just missing making it 2-0. Right after, Vrana picks off a pass in the Wings’ zone and Khudobin has to make a good save on his shot.
Coming out of the break, the Wings’ other scoring line comes on. Marc Staal flips a wrister at the traffic that Luke Glendening tips past a Darren Helm screen and it’s 2-0 Wings.
I’m all set to wrap up this period in a nice bow, but Anton Khudobin doesn’t let me. I... have to show you this one because Dallas pooped us a goal. 3-0 Wings on the Panik marker.
The Score: 3-0 Wings
The Shots: 12-9 Stars
Standout Players: Filip Zadina, Jakub Vrana, Michael Rasmussen
Sit-in Players: Nobody
The Period All Summed up: Just need goals from Washington’s 1st rounder this year and 2nd rounder next year to complete things.
I realize starting this period recap how my initial tone aged and now I’m worried I should be dour here too. I hate stuff!
Jake Oettinger starts the 2nd in net for the Stars and the Wings start off by taking an early tripping penalty (Rasmussen takes down Hintz as the Wings are caught early thanks in part to Zadina having been tripped earlier). Dallas takes about a minute looking for chances before Radek Faksa takes a Tanner Kero pass from behind the net and pots it over the glove to make it 3-1 Wings.
Love a good no-look feed from behind the net. pic.twitter.com/hmILO09yFu— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) April 23, 2021
I do not love that.
The Stars keep the pressure on as both teams ratchet up the physicality. However, the next goal belongs to Detroit on a faceoff win from an icing where Danny DeKeyser puts a slapper towards the net that Jakub Vrana tips in the slot and watches the puck slide past Oettinger’s skate into the net to make it 4-1 Detroit.
Immediately after, Darren Helm almost gets one on a 2-on-1 rush with Glendening. Figure while all the luck is going our way this could actually happen.
10:38 into the period, Vladislav Namestnikov gives Dallas their 2nd power play because he REALLY hates the Stars. For the third time in less than two games, he kind of goes apeshit, as Jason Dickinson kind of pokes at a puck held by Greiss and Namestnikov skates in, grabs him around the neck, and throws him to the ice. That’s a roughing call for Vlad.
Namestnikov gets out of the box just as Dallas is re-entering the zone. Joe Pavelski beats Marc Staal to the center, receives a pass, and backhands it into the net. 4-2 Wings.
Dallas keeps pushing and creating shots, but their aggression leads to the Wings’ first PP, as going into the third break, Andrew Cogliano takes a hooking penalty chasing down Alex Biega behind the Wings net.
Detroit gets a few good looks, but can’t finish, nearly giving up a shorty at the very end if not for Dennis Cholowski blocking a pass with his skate to stop a 3-on-1 rush.
Vrana gets his bid for the hatty stopped late in the period and the horn sounds.
The Score: 4-2 Wings
The Shots: 31-16 Stars
Standout Players: Vrana, Glendening, Cholowski
Sit-in Players: Namestnikov, Staal
The Period All Summed up: It was a bend-don’t-break period where they broke twice.
Jakub Vrana gives us all a scare by not being on the bench at the start, but comes back before missing a shift. The Wings have pretty good jump to start this one. Then, 3:25 in the Wings go shorthanded on a DeKeyser penalty taken because the defenseman... I dunno, because he played defense?
Dallas feels badly enough to not do anything noteworthy for the next two minutes.
Namestnikov does a good job deflecting a shot from Heiskanen after he walks to the top of the circle unimpeded. I mean, it was Vlad’s job to impede him, but it was a quickly-developing play and a good lane-block.
Halfway through the period, Jakub Vrana picks off a puck at the blue line, pokes it around John Klingberg, heads off to the races and snipes it past Oettinger for the hatty! 5-2 Detroit.
Legit the first time I’ve actually risen from my seat on a developing Red Wings break in years. Feels good.
Stecher sits for reaching out to slow Faksa on a 150-foot zone entry pass. Dallas goes to another PP as we head into the third break.
Dallas barely misses a chance earlier on the PP but Denis Gurianov makes up for it as a puck bounces to him and he steps into a slapper to roof it for a 5-3 game with under 6:30 to play.
Dallas spends the next two minutes in the Wings’ zone, but that doesn’t matter. what matters is JAKUB VRANA ROOSTER TRICK 6-3 WINGS.
Make that four goals for Jakub Vrana tonight. Can't stop, won't stop. pic.twitter.com/BXSTJiJpX0— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) April 23, 2021
Dallas pulls the goalie with over 2 to go. Greiss actually takes a shot but doesn’t clear the zone. Helm ices it missing the empty net from just shy of center.
Gagner nails the empty-netter with 1:13 to go from right in front of Greiss. 7-3 Wings.
That’ll do it, folks.
The Score: 7-3 Wings
The Shots: 47-23 Stars
Standout Players: Vrana, Staal, Vrana, Vrana
Sit-in Players: Stecher
The Period All Summed up: Rooster
Jamie Benn’s propensity to cross-check people off the faceoff was on display again tonight too. I would like him to stop doing that.
Of all the stories I really REALLY want answers to, why does Vlad Namestnikov hate the Dallas Stars so much is quickly becoming a priority.
Overall a pretty weird game, but it’s nice to see the luck go that way and nice to see the Wings willing to get a little nasty back with the Stars. There were a few opportunities to collapse and Detroit refused each of them.
See you Saturday