Detroit at Dallas (12/19/09)

This afternoon’s opponent for the Wings was the Dallas Stars who played host to Detroit and were just two points behind the Red Wings in the standings. The starting goaltenders were Jimmy Howard and Marty Turco.

Well, my wishful thinking didn’t help after the last game. Henrik Zetterberg has a partial shoulder separation and will miss two to four weeks. There was a spot of good news though as Helm returned to the lineup today.

The Stars got off to a good start in this game. They had an early power play and had a lot of good shots in a short period of time. Jimmy Howard was great though and made a few world class saves.

Then Brad May fought with his favorite dance partner Krys Barch. It was a pretty long fight. They were throwing punches until they were both completely out of gas. You couldn’t say either one was the winner but they both seemed to enjoy it.

Later in the first period Datsyuk got the puck and played it ahead to Bertuzzi who was charging to the net. It was almost out of reach so he leaned for forward and just chipped it at the net. It bounced off Turco to the middle of the crease and Holmstrom came in and shoved it into the net. The Wings had the early lead one to nothing.

After Dallas’ initial flurry, Detroit was the better team. They ended up outshooting the Stars eleven to seven by the end of the period and quality chances were seven to three Detroit.

Early in the second period Detroit had a bit of a defensive breakdown and the Stars scored. Both defensemen were on the same side of the ice and Ribeiro passed it across to Skrastins on the other side who one-timed it in. It was a bang bang play. Howard didn’t have much of a chance.

Later in the second period Richards took the puck up the wing. He passed it to Neal in the slot. Along the way the puck hit Rafalski, then hit Neal’s skate and stick, then it hit Bertuzzi’s skate and deflected into the net. It was another goal that Howard didn’t have a chance of stopping. There wasn’t even a shot on goal. It just bounced around and finally went it. It was a fluky goal but it put the Stars up two to one.

A few minutes later Bertuzzi threw the puck toward the net with Datsyuk between him and the goal. Datsyuk touched it slightly but it didn’t look like the puck changed direction at all. The puck went right through Turco’s legs and the Wings tied it up.

Then just a little over a minute later the Stars were pressuring. Skrastins shot from the point and it hit Brad Stuart. Howard lost track of the puck and it bounced the opposite way that he though it did. By the time he found it again it was too late. Neal shot it into the mostly open net as Howard dove for it. The Stars were back up by a goal.

With about a minute left in the second period Miller did a nice job to take the puck away and keep it in the zone. Datsyuk ended up working it behind the net. He sent it back to Bertuzzi in the slot who ripped it with Miller in front. I don’t think Miller touched it but it got through and into the net to tie the game at three.

The stats were even more lopsided after two periods. The Wings were outshooting the Stars 24 to 14, and out-chancing them 14 to 8.

Early in the third period Skrastins released a shot that was nothing special but it seemed to surprise Howard. I think it might have hit the stick of Doug Janik who was right in front of the net. The puck came up and went in the top corner so the Stars had the lead again.

The score held until the end of the game. The Red Wings ended up losing a game in which I felt they played very well. They made a few mistakes but for the most part they looked great.

Datsyuk and Bertuzzi were very good and Helm was just incredible. It’s such a joy to watch him play. I’m glad he’s back.

This 3-4 loss brings us to:
41 points

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