Red Wings Game Recap: Stars 4 - Red Wings 1

The Red Wings welcomed the high-flying Dallas Stars to the Joe for a Sunday matinee. Andreas Athanasiou made his NHL debut and Mike Green returned to the lineup after being sidelined with a shoulder injury.

After a little bit of confusion with lines and D-pairings before the start of the game, we got word that the fourth line of Miller-Glendening-Helm was starting against the Stars' top line of Benn-Seguin-Sharp. So nice of the Wings to warn us about our impending butt workout with all the clenching we were sure to do.

First Period:

The Wings didn't spend a lot of time in the Stars' zone to start, and shockingly, a lot of time they spent in their own zone was when Glendening's line was out against Seguin's. Zetterberg's line came out after Luke's and the Wings had a good amount of cycling on the attack before Larkin got a shot on Lehtonen from a very sharp angle. I love how willing Larkin is to shoot from everywhere. Lehtonen nearly made a mistake that cost his team when he came way out of the net on a Helm breakaway, but there was no repeat of Helm flipping over Poulin, which is probably good for Helmer's sake.

Larkin hasn't quite learned the way of the Wings' subtle interference, because he gets a penalty called for just that. It only takes the Stars 18 seconds to capitalize. Glendening had a chance to clear the puck on the kill but shot it into the bench. Faceoff stays in the Detroit zone and it's wham bam, thank you ma'am, in the back of the Detroit net.

Green made his return felt when he pinched in for a good scoring chance. Later on, Larkin got himself behind the Dallas defense but chose to pass to Smith instead of taking the shot. Active defense, everyone!

The line of Tatar-Sheahan-Helm got hemmed in this time as Valeri Nichushkin got a goal off his third shot in about as many seconds. I don't like this game anymore. The power play late didn't exactly inspire any confiden-- hahaha just kidding, Nyquist scored as I was typing this. I'm leaving it.

Standout Players: None
Tough Period: Glendening

Score: 2-1 Dallas
Shots: hahahaha(15-8 Dallas)hahahahaha *cries*

Second Period:

The second starts off with the Sheahan line sustaining some great pressure in the Dallas zone. The Kid Line gets some good looks and Nyquist draws a penalty, so it's back to the power play we go! Aaand nothing happened as the Wings could barely keep the puck on the right side of the blue line. Not even a shot. Neat.

I think Justin Abdelkader is officially snakebitten. Had as good a chance as any and just barely sent the puck wide of the net. Another Wings PP as the Stars get a weird Too Many Men call against them. Detroit actually kept the puck in the zone for the entire man advantage but were unable to convert.

Some improvement this period as they actually generated pressure, but not very many shots. They didn't score any goals, but hey, they didn't give up any either.

Standout Players: Green, Athanasiou, Larkin
Tough Period: Abdelkader

Score: 2-1 Dallas
Shots: 18-11 Dallas

Third Period:

Much better start for the boys in red here. Glendening, of all people, draws an offensive zone penalty, of all things, off a high-stick from Seguin, who had not had a single penalty all season. Wings again spent a lot of time in the attacking zone, but couldn't get the tying goal. Jimmy Howard got a little chippy with the referees when they missed him taking a knee to the head from Spezza and failing to stop play when it was clear he was struggling. Petr Mrazek came in for the injured Jimmy as a precaution, without warmups.

Mrazek gets a test early as Green takes a "modern-day hooking penalty" so his teammates are really going to have to help him out here. Blocked shots aplenty on the kill and the ones that got through were ones Mrazek was able to see and stop easily. Too bad we're right back to the kill as the dumbest rule in hockey rears its ugly head again. Or not? Okay. Wings get a break there.

Refs decide to give Ericsson a penalty a couple minutes later when he "roughs" Ales Hemsky after Hemsky charged Ericsson and slammed his head into the boards. Ericsson comes up bleeding and goes for repairs while his team is on a penalty kill when they should have been on the power play.

Seguin makes it 3-1 on an empty netter after what looked like an elbow to Larkin's head along the glass. This game was stupid, mostly by the refs, but also by a second EN goal, this time a short-handed one by Cody Eakin in the final 20 seconds.

Standout Players: Mrazek
Tough Period: Ericsson

Score: 4-1 Dallas
Shots: 26-22 Dallas

The refs were the story of this game and it's absolutely infuriating when they stand out more than the actual play on the ice. The Wings deserved better in this game, but they also owed their (now-injured) starting goalie better than what they gave him in the first period. Mrazek was good in relief, but of course we hope that Howard is going to be okay after taking a hit to the head. I don't think Spezza meant to hit him, but things have been getting dangerous in the goal creases around the league and sooner or later a goalie is going to pay for it with a big injury.

Your POTG is Nyquist for scoring Detroit's lone goal.