The Dallas Stars had an early Sunday start, as they faced a struggling Detroit Red Wings team for the first time this season. The Stars were coming off two very important home wins against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, that ended a three-game losing skid. On the other bench, the Red Wings are close to the league’s worst team with a 1-7-2 record, and no wins at home this season.
With this struggling Red Wings lineup, the Stars looked to find two points to start a season-long six game road trip. The Stars also were looking for an elusive road win, trying to shake off the road woes that have plagued the team dating back to last season.
The start for the Stars left much to be desired, and could have crippled the team early. Two early penalties by Roman Polak (delay of game) and Jamie Benn (high-sticking) put the Stars on their heels and handed the Red Wings a quick 5-to-1 shot advantage. Things could have spiraled for the Stars as it appeared the Wings struck first on their second power play when Anthony Mantha appeared to beat Ben Bishop. However, the referees concluded that Mantha kicked the puck in and therefore the goal was wiped out.
After surviving two early penalty kills, the Stars found their legs finally to push the pace for the rest of the first period. The Stars looked like the quicker team and routinely sliced the Red Wings defense as the frame went along. The Stars’ relentless pressure paid off as Gemel Smith scored a nice goal on the rush, which is his first of the season.
The rest of the period played out with little offense, as both goaltenders were up to the task. The best chance of the late stages came in the final seconds as the Stars’ first line buzzed around the Detroit net, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. Overall, the first period was a good tone set by a team trying to find their first win on the road.
SOG: 11-7 Dallas
The Stars came out of the break with a bit of the pace they had in the first period. They looked like the better team once again, and the play favored them for the most part. However, the game quickly changed.
The Red Wings found some extended zone time at the 15-minute mark of the second, and (this time legally) solve Bishop on an Anthony Mantha goal. It appeared that Bishop hung himself up on his far post as he was coming off a stop from a point shot. He was unable to recover and Mantha had a wide open net. Following the Detroit goal, the game slowed down a bit with chances coming only in quick spurts.
The most exciting moments of the period came in a 4-on-4 situation after Frans Nielsen took a penalty on Blake Comeau, which ended the Red Wings’ power play after 50 seconds. The Stars took a few quick looks at the Red Wings’ net in this portion, but were unable to crack the Detroit net-minder.
SOG: 10-7 Dallas
In sticking with a troubling theme that has creeped into the Stars’ game, the team came out flat in the third period. The Red Wings pushed the pace as the Stars could do little to establish anything on offense, which created issues for them in their own end. Tyler Bertuzzi scored the weirdest goal of the night on a bounce off the Zamboni doors. Ben Bishop could do nothing but watch as the Stars net was again wide open.
The period snowballed from there, as Jonathan Ericsson shot a puck through traffic that found its way through Bishop. The Stars were chasing for the rest of the night, with not much offense to speak of. The best chance came via Smith again, but was denied by a fine pad stop by Bernier. The Stars pulled Bishop as the game neared its end. John Klingberg scored late to pull the game within one goal.
The Stars appeared to be within striking distance, as the Wings iced the puck, which gave the Stars an offensive zone draw. However, the Stars were utterly outworked by Justin Abdelkader, who beat out an icing and put the game away with an empty-net goal. The Stars are now 0-3 on the road.
SOG: 30-23 Dallas
Score 4-2 Detroit
- The Stars again looked the better team through the first two periods, while the third period was a train wreck in slow motion. The team was outworked, and looked to be a different group as the game wore on while playing not to lose.
- Ben Bishop looked off tonight in goal. He never really looked settled back between the pipes and it became evident as the game wore on. This was brought in focus on the Mantha goal in the second period as he was fishing out of his net when the goal was scored.
- Tyler Seguin played his 600th NHL game tonight.
- The Stars are still getting beat on icings and it is becoming a glaring issue. This is a correctable habit, but the Stars haven’t done so yet and it is costing them dearly.
The Dallas Stars will play in Montreal on Tuesday night with the puck drop at 6:30 p.m. CDT.