The Red Wings returned to action after playing in the Winter Classic on Wednesday as they were looking to rebound from a tough 3-2 shootout loss. The Red Wings have been a solid road team this season, and that was on display again tonight as the Red Wings skated to a dominating 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars tonight.
The Stars came out blazing in tonight’s game and recorded the games first 12 shots on goal. After Jimmy Howard made big save after big save for the Red Wings, the Dallas Stars had a failed clear attempt that went right to Henrik Zetterberg who was able to find the back of the net on the Red Wings first shot of the night. Despite his strong play the first half of the second period, the Stars were able to connect on a shorthanded goal when Rich Peverley fired a shot past Howard that appeared to deflect off of Daniel Alfredsson‘s stick to tie the game at one with just around seven minutes remaining in the period. Only moments later, Justin Abdelkader was in on a breakaway when he was tripped leading to a penalty shot in which Dan Ellis was able to stop him to preserve the tie. Late in the first period period, the Red Wings were able to get the go ahead goal when Joakim Andersson was able to fire a shot past Ellis to take the 2-1 lead. Only 14 seconds later, Abdelkader shot a puck at the net and Drew Miller was able to poke at the puck and get it through Ellis’ five hole for the 3-1 lead heading into the locker room at the end of the first. The Stars out shot the Red Wings 20-11 in the first period.
Dan Ellis would not last in net for the Stars as Kari Lehtonen replaced Ellis to begin the second period. The second period was fairly uneventful for the first half. At the 9:35 mark of the second though, Dallas appeared to have what was a goal to trim the lead, but a quick whistle by the refs before the puck crossed the line resulted in a no goal call. The play was not review-able due to intent to blow the whistle, which many Red Wings fans know too well. A couple of minutes later, Tomas Tatar was able to steal the puck and avoid two defenders and put the puck five hole on Lehtonen to give the Red Wings a 4-1 lead in what is sure to be a Sportscenter Top 10 play. The Red Wings took that same 4-1 lead to the locker room.
The third period started off the same way the second did. Despite many chances, mainly from the Red Wings, neither team was able to connect which led to a fairly uneventful first half of the period, at least scoring wise. The Stars and Red Wings traded off penalties for much of the first half of the period, but neither team was successful on any chance. The scoring scene changed with around seven minutes left in the game when Dan Cleary was able to regain possession of the puck and center it to Zetterberg who was able to fire a slapshot off of the post into the net for his second goal of the night and the 5-1 lead. The Red Wings would hold on to that 5-1 lead for the victory. Jimmy Howard was the biggest factor tonight stopping 43 of 44 shots and making big save after big save.
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