Fresh off of their first regulation win of the season Saturday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Dallas Stars welcomed the Detroit Red Wings to American Airlines Center. The Stars, on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture, were looking to string together consecutive quality performances on a key early season homestand. Netminder Jake Oettinger would see his first start of the season, called up over the weekend for injured goaltender Braden Holtby and in relief of Anton Khudobin who was battling an illness.
The first five minutes of the contest elapsed with both teams trading productive shifts, giving the game a healthy dose of action to start. The Stars best look at the Detroit netminder Alex Nedeljkovic came when Jacob Peterson drove off of the half-wall and found a wide open Tyler Seguin in the slot, who was then stopped by the Red Wings goaltender. The Stars would come close to opening the scoring when the trio of Pavelski-Hintz-Robertson worked the puck deep into the Red Wings zone and took three point blank shots at the Red Wing net. Nedelijkovic was equal to the task and stopped the most dangerous attempt by Roope Hintz to keep the game scoreless.
As the game approached the ten minute mark the Stars Michael Raffl would draw the games first power-play when Filip Hronek hooked onto Raffl as he approached the Detroit net. The Stars would hold solid zone-time on their man advantage, but would be unable to seriously challenge the Red Wings penalty kill.
After nearly fourteen minutes of continuous pressure from the Stars, Ryan Suter finally broke the ice when he leaned into a wrister from just beyond the top of the circles. The goal was set up by a great pass by Radek Faksa, whose forecheck made the entire play possible. The remainder of the period would elapse without much excitement generated from either side. Goaltender Jake Oettinger looked comfortable and confident in the crease when called upon, which wasn’t often in the opening twenty minutes.
Dallas 1 Detroit 0
Dallas 12 Detroit 4
Dallas would waste no time at the start of the second period, applying pressure from the drop of the puck. After a sloppy icing by the Detroit netminder, the Stars took advantage of an offensive zone face-off when Jamie Benn deflected a Miro Heiskanen point shot past Nedelijkovic for a two goal Stars lead.
After the Dallas goal the Stars still remained on the attack as the game hit the half-way mark. The culmination of the attack on the Red Wings defense was a dangerous shift by the Pavelski line where the Stars cycled the Wings into submission. The play resulted in a wide open look for Pavelski who was stopped by Nedelijkovic. Dallas would immediately nullify the missed chance when Roope Hintz walked the top of the circle and ripped a wrist shot over the shoulder of the Detroit goaltender. The goal was Hintz’s third of the season and gave him three consecutive games with a goal.
After nearly thirty minutes of consistent offensive pressure from the Stars, the Red Wings finally responded with a goal of their own. On their best chance of the night the Red Wings converted on a two-on-one when Sam Gagner (son of former Dallas Star Dave Gagner) slid a pass to Filip Zadina, who placed a backhand shot past Oettinger. The Detroit goal came right after the Wings had taken their timeout in the aftermath of the Hintz goal.
In the minutes after the timeout and goal by the Red Wings, the club looked as good as they had in the game. Detroit managed to stack together solid shifts, wrestling away some of the momentum from the Stars as the period moved to the later stages. The Wings sustained pressure would earn them their first power-play of the night when John Klingberg tripped Robbie Fabbri as he tried to enter the Stars zone. It wouldn’t take long for the Red Wings to take advantage on the advantage as Dylan Larkin rocketed a wrist shot bar down over the shoulder of Oettinger. Prior to the power-play the Stars seemed to sag a bit as the Red Wings took control of the pace of play in the second half of the period.
Dallas 3 Detroit 2
Dallas 23 Detroit 15
The momentum the Red Wings gained in the latter half of the second period would carry over into the opening moments of the third period. Lucas Raymond would make Oettinger come up with his biggest stop of the night on a point blank chance, which would have tied the game. However, the Stars would respond with a big shift of their own when Robertson scored on a cheeky wraparound goal to restore the Stars two-goal lead. The goal couldn’t have come at a better time for the Stars, as the Wings were surging to start the period and really driving the pace of the game.
As the game rolled past the halfway point, the Stars had rebounded to find their form to suffocate the Red Wings. The Red Wings would respond by the time the period reached the later stages, peppering Oettinger and establishing extended zone-time. The most dangerous chances came when the Wings attempted periodic stuff plays in tight, which the Stars defense and Oettinger equaled with key saves and defensive stops. The surge from the Red Wings would result in the shots being evened up with just under four minutes to play in regulation. A huge win for a Detroit team that had to battle back after a dominant first period by Dallas.
The Red Wings pulled Nedelijkovic with under two-and-a-half minute to play and the Stars responded by nearly icing the game when Jason Robertson hit the iron from in close. However, Robertson would find redemption when he took the puck off of a defensive zone face-off win and sent it the full length of the ice into the open Red Wings net. The goal would be the Stars fifth of the game, giving the club ten goals over the two games on the homestand.
Dallas 5 Detroit: 2
Dallas 30 Detroit 30
- The Dallas Stars pulled their regular season record to 6-6-2 (14 points)
- Powerplays were one aside, with the Stars going 0-1 and the Red Wings 1-1.
- The line of Joe Pavelski-Roope Hintz-Jason Robertson recorded 5 points (3 goals, 2a). Jason Robertson led the way with 2 goals and 1 assist, while Roope Hintz scored for the third consecutive game.
- A lot was made of the brewing battle between the two captains, Dylan Larkin and Jamie Benn. The battle was a wash on the scoresheet as both scored in the game, but Dallas won the game. You be the judge.
- Jake Oettinger picked up his twelfth career NHL victory in his first start in the 2021-22 NHL campaign. Oettinger had started the season third on the depth chart behind Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin.
- Dallas went 2-0-0 on this mini homestand and make a short trip to Minnesota to face the Wild on Thursday night, before returning back to the AAC Saturday to host the St. Louis Blues.