In what was a hard fought game from start to finish, the Dallas Stars were able to take away a win in Joe Louis Arena on Thursday night, using an overtime goal from former Bruin Rich Peverley to win 4-3.
Considering Dallas’s play this season, I must say I was surprised regarding the way they handled the Wings onslaught tonight. As far as writing goes, this wasn’t exactly the easiest game to post about…it was primarily a defensive struggle (scoreless first period) and goals were hard to come by. There were a few scoring chances by each team in the first, namely a post hit by recently acquired Dallas forward Tyler Seguin (2nd overall to Boston in 2010) and a good save by Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen on Tomas Tatar. The scoring didn’t open until midway through the second period, when Bertuzzi fired a beautiful one-timer from the slot, thanks to great work on a puck battle by Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the corner. Datsyuk won the battle, allowing the puck to slide to Z, who put a perfect pass to Bertuzzi’s stick to make the score 1-0. Adam Almqvist followed not long after with his first goal of the season, off -another- feed from Henrik Zetterberg. The period would have ended as such if not for a good effort from Shawn Horcoff, who fired a pass from former Wing Ray Whitney past Jimmy Howard to halve Detroit’s lead.
Dallas coach Lindy Ruff must’ve had a talk with his team in the second intermission, because they came out firing at all cylinders. It took Dallas less than four minutes to even the score, off a great backhand by Jamie Benn. Despite the sudden goal, Detroit continued their impressive brand of puck-possession based hockey, and were able to retake the lead off a beautiful Datsyukian goal from…well, Pavel Datsyuk. The goal marked Zetterberg’s third assist of the game, but wasn’t enough to end it, as Cody Eakin ripped a wrist shot past Jimmy Howard on the powerplay with just over a minute remaining to send the game to overtime.
The extra period started off in a scary fashion, as Dallas controlled the play for the first couple of minutes. Sharp play by Jimmy Howard prevented the game from ending prematurely, but Detroit needs to have more urgency in a sudden death situation. They started to show it eventually, and Datsyuk would’ve ended it on a great snipe if it wasn’t for a solid effort by Lehtonen.
Sadly, the Wings couldn’t pull it out in the end, as Rich Peverley was able to win it for the Stars on a great shot through traffic with just a tad left in overtime.
– Congrats to Adam Almqvist on his first career NHL goal. Osgood claimed in the Winnipeg game that he was cut from the same cloth as Erik Karlsson, and if that’s true, the Wings are set on the blue line for a long, looooong time.
– Speaking of the blue line, Danny Dekeyser continues to prove that he’ll win a Norris sooner, rather than later. He is, without hyperbole, Detroit’s best defenseman.
– Howard and Lehtonen are two of my favorite goalies in the league, and they showed it tonight – despite the (relatively) high-scoring affair, both goalies played outstandingly.
– DATSYUK SHOULD NEVER RETIRE.
– Bertuzzi will stay with Datsyuk and Zetterberg all season. He hasn’t played this well since before he ended Steve Moore‘s career – maybe having the whole lawsuit thing behind him calmed him down.
Sorry about the length of this – I have a chemistry exam tomorrow that I desperately need to study for. Follow me on Twitter @rollin_on_D if you’re interested in the ramblings of a madman.
Thanks for reading!