Red Wings Overwhelm Stars With Six Unanswered in 7-3 Win

This photo's from the other night in Denver. But it might as well have been from tonight considering Detroit put a 7 spot on the board tonight. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

And seven minutes into the second, this one started to look a lot like those nine Stars wins in the previous 11 meetings.

Dallas got goals from Brad Richards, Mark Fistric, and Jamie Benn to overcome a first period power play marker from Jiri Hudler just 96 seconds into the contest. They were rolling, the Stars contingent in the crowd tonight was rollicking while the Red Wings "fans" were forced to sit on their hands

And then a few minutes later Nicklas Lidstrom scored what could best be described as an ugly goal to cut it to 3-2. Then with one second left on a late second period power play, Patrick Eaves scored the first of his three goals on the night to tie it at 3-3.

As for the third period? Well, that probably ranks as one of the worst 20 minutes of hockey the Stars have played this season, if not the absolute worst.

There's no doubt Kari Lehtonen's had better nights. And as Art said in the GDT, Kari wasn't necessarily horrible. It's just that we've been conditioned to expect that when it feels like a goal is coming on, the Stars netminder, whether it's Lehtonen or Andrew Raycroft, will come up with the big save.

Tonight, it just didn't happen.

Now if there's a silver lining to this, it's that San Jose lost. And as of this writing, the Kings and the suddenly mortal Jonathan Quick are losing to the Coyotes by a 6-3 score halfway through the third.

The second silver lining?

Blowout losses are easier to get over than a close loss.

Right?

Random thoughts and the three stars after the jump

  • Detroit's win tonight was their first win at the AAC since the 2007-08 season.
  • A little more on Lehtonen. Yes, he didn't get the big save when he needed it. But out of the six goals he allowed tonight, only the Kris Draper goal is one I'd put in the Charmin Soft category. The Hudler PP goal he had no chance on, the Lidstrom goal from the point deflected off Brenden Morrow, he had no chance on the Eaves PP marker in the second that tied it, he could barely see past the swarm of bodies in front of the net on the Stuart goal in the third, and Nicklas Grossman completely left him out to dry on Eaves' second goal of the night.
  • Dallas dominated the first seven minutes of the second period. I'd submit to you Detroit dominated just as easily for most of the other 53 minutes.
  • Dallas was 0 for 3 on the power play tonight, but none of those chances hurt more than their final chance when it was still 4-3. Score on it and it changes the complexion of the game. Instead, they got nothing out of it and a few minutes later, the Red Wings essentially put the game away.
  • No, I don't know why Marc Crawford pulled Lehtonen during the 4-on-4 late in the game either. Not that it matters. Except for the hordes of Red Wing fans who got another cheap reason to cheer.

Defending Big D Three Stars
1 - Patrick Eaves {DET) - First career NHL hat trick for the son of the coach of one of the best prep hockey programs in the nation.

2 -  Darren Helm (DET) - Mixed bag for 2nd and 3rd stars. I chose Helm because I thought he had a helluva shift on the goal that made it 5-3. First, he rocked Brenden Morrow in the neutral zone. Then when the Stars captain came back for retribution, he absorbed the hit, outworked Morrow for the puck, dished it out to Eaves who found Kris Draper for the one timer.

3 - Nicklas Lidstrom (DET) - His second period goal turned the tide of the game. It was ugly. But at the end of the season, they don't ask, "how?", they ask "how many?"

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