The Detroit Red Wings opened the 2008 calendar year with their 30th win of the season, a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Playing their 41st game of the season, it was the fastest run to 30 wins in Red Wings history.
Henrik Zetterberg returned to the team after missing five games with back spasms, notching two assists.
Zetterberg’s first point of the night came as the secondary assist on the opening goal, scored by Dan Cleary.
With 7:59 left in the first, Valtteri Filppula carried into the Dallas zone and lost the puck. Cleary stepped across the blue line and blasted a shot that was blocked by a defender, but Cleary stepped around him to pick the puck back up and snap it by goalie Marty Turco.
Detroit took a two-goal lead at 7:28 of the second, when a long outlet pass by Aaron Downey sprung Johan Franzen in all alone. Franzen faked and got Turco to sprawl out before skating it into the open side of the net.
Dallas Drake scored his first goal of his second stint with the Red Wings at 4:32 of the third period. The Wings regained control of the puck after Johan Franzen missed an open net and eventually Zetterberg got it in the high slot. Spinning into the left circle, he sent a pass down to Drake near the bottom of the right circle to punch between Turco’s legs.
Neither team converted on any of their power play chances. Each team had three attempts with the extra attacker, one lasting only a matter of seconds.
Osgood made 23 saves on 24 shots to earn the win. Turco stopped 22 of 26 shots against.
The two teams will face each other again on Saturday afternoon in Dallas.
Lidstrom’s assist on Datsyuk’s goal was his 700th career assist… Downey’s assist on Franzen’s goal was his first point as a Red Wing.