Detroit at Dallas (1/16/10)

The Red Wings were in Dallas today for an afternoon game against the Stars. Alex Auld was the goalie for the Stars and for the Red Wings Jimmy Howard continued his run as the number one goaltender.

This was an important game for the Wings. It was a conference game against a Stars team that is chasing Detroit in the standings. The Stars really need these points so that means the Wings need to get them instead. The Red Wings were still trailing the Kings by a point in the standings for the eighth playoff spot. I’m getting the feeling that every game for the rest of the season is going to be an important game.

Both teams got off to fast starts in this game. The pace was great and they were both skating hard.

In the first minute of the game Ott started trying to start a fight with Stuart. Stuart was having none of it but it was pretty clear he intended to fight with somebody in this game. Barch and May also were ready to go early. They like to fight in each game they play together.

Early on in the game Lidstrom made a nice outlet pass to Zetterberg who hit Bertuzzi streaking into the zone. Bertuzzi took it to the net and made a sweet move on Auld. He put the puck in the net and then followed it in himself. It was a beautiful goal and it gave the Wings the early lead one to nothing.

A few minutes later Modano went to the box for slashing. It was a call that Mickey Redmond and Mike Modano both thought was pretty weak but he did knock the stick out of the hands of Helm. On the power play Zetterberg passed to Bertuzzi in front of the net. It was in Bertuzzi’s feet and he didn’t get a shot away. However, the puck slipped through to the other side of the net where Rafalski had stepped up and he popped it home to take the two nothing lead. Modano was pretty hot about it and was really giving it to the referee.

The period ended with Wings leading two to nothing even though they were outshot eleven to seven. It didn’t really seem like the Stars had more shots because the Red Wings were so effective on the few shots they had. It’s starting to become common for the Wings to be outshot.

In the second period Richards brought the puck into the Red Wings end. He faked a shot and held on to it. Then when it was almost too late he ripped it. It hit Brad Stuart’s stick in front of the net and deflected in. That made it two to one Red Wings. There wasn’t anything Howard could have done about it.

After two periods the Wings were still being outshot by the Star but not by much. For the most part the game was even. Of course the Wings were leading in the most important category, two to one in goals.

In the third period the Stars scored on a play where Barch was basically sitting on Jimmy Howard but there was no call for goalie interference. Wandell brought the puck out from behind the net and sent it to the front. It hit something in front of the net and bounced out to Eriksson in the slot who shot it past Howard. There was really no chance for Howard on this one either considering he had Barch all over him. Regardless, the game was suddenly tied at two.

The third period was just crazy. There was all kinds of checking and bodies flying everywhere but no goals.

After three periods the score was still tied so the game went to overtime.

The craziness continued in the overtime period with no winner so the game went to a shootout.

The first shooter for the Star was Neal and Howard stopped him cold. Datsyuk went next and he made a nice move but missed the net. Richards was up next for the Stars. He made a move but Howard didn’t bite and stopped the shot. Next was Zetterberg. He tried to make a move but Auld poke checked the puck away. Eriksson was up next and he couldn’t beat Howard either. It came down to Bertuzzi as the last shooter for the Wings. He went wide left and Auld had none of it. He poked the puck away again.

Modano was up next. He shot and Howard stopped him. Then Filppula was up. He deked and shot but missed again as the goalie showcase continued. Robidas was up for the Stars. He came in fast but Howard stopped him, too. Then it was Cleary. He made some nice moves but still couldn’t score. Ott was up for the Stars. He came in with speed again and the referee waved it off but it looked like it might have crossed the line.  The referee was in perfect position to see the puck so it’s most likely that he made the right call but they still spent a lot of time reviewing it. Somehow, after the review they called it a goal. It was unbelievable since there was no replay where you could see it cross the line. I’ll be interested to hear how they made that decision. Eaves shot next for the Wings and missed so just like that Stars had won the game.

This was a very unsatisfying way for the game to end. It felt like a win but the Wings only got a point out of it and gave up two points to the Stars. Not great and very disappointing.

The Wings have the Blackhawks to contend with tomorrow. That will be a critical game for them.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out how important Jimmy Howard has been to the Red Wings. He wasn’t in the top three for player of the game today and I think that’s just because people are quickly getting used to him being awesome. Considering how much the scoring and the shots on goal have dropped off lately, I’d say that if it weren’t for Howard the Red Wings would be in BIG trouble. Osgood is a great goalie, but in all fairness we have to admit that he’s probably past his prime. I don’t think he could have earned the Wings as many points as Jimmy Howard has.

This 2-3 overtime loss brings us to:
24-16-7
55 points

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