The undermanned Detroit Red Wings continue to struggle in Dallas

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The undermanned Detroit Red Wings traveled to Dallas to square off with the Stars. Detroit now remains winless over their last 11 games in Dallas, going 0-8-3 over that span with a 6-3 loss Monday night.

The Detroit Red Wings were without their top two centers, which put them in quite a vulnerable position. On Monday, captain Dylan Larkin and J.T. Compher were placed on Injured Reserve. For clarity, once a player is placed on IR, they cannot compete for at least seven days. Larkin is expected to miss at least a week after being knocked unconscious by a cross-check on Saturday night in Detroit from Mathieu Joseph.

Joseph cross-checked Larkin in the back of the head and neck area as there had been a scramble for the puck in front of the Ottawa goal. As Larkin tumbled forward, Parker Kelly got him with a butt-end of the stick on the chin. Larkin was knocked out and laid helpless on the ice for what felt like several minutes as chaos erupted. Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron instantly retaliated with a barbaric cross-check to defenseman Artem Zub, who wasn’t directly involved in the play. Perron was given a match penalty and a game misconduct for ‘intent to injure,’ which was the correct call. I don’t blame Perron for wanting blood, seeing his captain sprawled out motionless on the ice, especially knowing his injury history.

In the past, Larkin missed time with a season-ending neck injury after taking a dangerous blow to the back of the neck from Stars captain Jamie Benn off a faceoff. A couple of years ago, in Larkin’s first game back from that neck injury, Joseph, a member of the Lightning at the time, hit Larkin from behind head-first into the boards. Larkin was able to get up and retaliate with a glove punch to Joseph’s face but would receive a one-game suspension for his actions. Perron received a six-game suspension for his cross-check in this latest debacle, which was deserved, but Joseph received nothing for his dangerous action.

Compher’s injury is considered day-to-day, and he’s been placed on IR retroactive to December 5th, meaning he will also miss Tuesday’s contest with the Blues but will be able to rejoin the team for Thursday’s home game against Carolina. Forward Klim Kostin (illness) was also placed on IR retroactive to December 7th, which means he will be out through Thursday’s game against the Hurricanes. Ahead of Monday’s game in Dallas, the Detroit Red Wings recalled Jonatan Berggren, Austin Czarnik, and Zach Aston-Reese to make up their fourth line.

The Detroit Red Wings battled hard against the Stars but came up short.

Detroit opened the scoring thanks to a nifty goal from Daniel Sprong. The play started with a gallant effort from Christian Fischer, forcing a turnover with a tenacious forecheck in the left corner of the offensive zone. Fabbri then made a nifty pass to Sprong on a mini two-on-one, and the creative winger made it count.

The Stars scored the next two of the period. Miro Heiskanen got the first on the power play with a point shot through a double screen; James Reimer, the starting goaltender, didn’t have a chance.

Dallas would take a 2-1 lead with a mere two-tenths of a second left in the first period with a harmless wrist shot from about 60 feet out with no screen in front. A goal that absolutely cannot go in. The Stars got second-period goals from Jason Robertson and Matt Duchene. The Detroit Red Wings got one back in the frame from Jonatan Berggren, making it 4-2 Dallas after two periods. Joe Veleno got the Red Wings back within one goal thanks to his 7th goal of the season. It came on the power play right in front of the goal; Veleno hammered a DeBrincat centering pass home. Shortly thereafter, Joe Pavelski redirected a shot home on the power play. Dallas would hit the empty net, and that’s all, folks.

Next. Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat pushing for 40 goals. dark

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With the Detroit Red Wings being understaffed, they need, at worst, above-average goaltending to survive this stretch. Alex Lyon has seemed to be Detroit’s best option of late, but he was pulled after two periods on Saturday after allowing four goals on 25 shots against the Senators. Reimer made 11 saves on 11 shots in relief. Husso has been atrocious of late; there is no way to put it. His .886 save percentage, paired with a 3.65 goals-against average, is at the bottom of the league production from a starting netminder. In addition to those awful numbers, Husso has allowed three or more goals in 12 of his 14 starts this season and four or more in seven of those games.