Stars starting to click; Red Wings still struggling

By Paul Harris, The Sports Xchange
Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Star take on the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI
Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Star take on the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

DETROIT -- The Dallas Stars are beginning to play the way they want to and the Detroit Red Wings aren't.

Detroit plays host on Sunday at Little Caesars Arena to Dallas (5-4-0), which has won its last two games after struggling to begin the season.


After the Stars' 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night in Dallas, Dallas first-year coach Jim Montgomery told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "If you look at a picture of what Stars hockey should look like, that's tonight. We possessed the puck. We were fast and physical. We defended well."

Dallas does not lack offensive firepower. Center Tyler Seguin is the team's top point producer with three goals and 11 points, right winger Alexander Radulov has four goals and six assists, defenseman John Klinberg leads the Stars with five goals and has nine points, captain and left winger Jamie Benn has four goals and four assists, and center Jason Spezza has contributed two goals and eight points.


"We're trending the right way and there are going to be a few more bumps in the road," Montgomery said. "But sooner or later we are going to get to the level of play that you saw tonight. And it's going to be fun for the city and fun for the fans."

Detroit (1-7-2) has the NHL's worst record after Friday night's 2-1 home loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

The Red Wings led 1-0 after a solid first period but were dominated in the final 40 minutes. They were outshot 31-13 in the second and third periods and took too many penalties in the second period.

But that was a much better effort than Detroit's 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday at Little Caesars Arena.

"The compete was way better, no doubt about it," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We came out in the first, I thought we carried the play and we didn't score on chances that we had opportunities to score on. I thought we could have walked out with a better lead. So I thought the effort and compete was very good."

Only a spectacular performance by goaltender Jimmy Howard, who made 38 saves, kept Detroit in Friday night's game.


"I think Jimmy's played really well and obviously the second period (when Winnipeg outshot Detroit 21-4) he was outstanding, outstanding," Blashill said. "They had some real good chances and they're real shooters and I thought he was outstanding."

Friday night was also the season debut of Detroit defenseman Mike Green, who had been recovering from a virus that attacked his liver. He was minus-1 and had five shots in 20:27 of ice time.

"I thought Greener was pretty good," Blashill said. "He hasn't played a game in a long, long, long time. I thought he came in and did a pretty good job.

"He pushed the puck out of our zone. I thought he was good offensively, so I thought he did a good job."

The Red Wings have only 21 goals in their 10 games and two in their past two games, both scored by forward Andreas Athanasiou.

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