The Dallas Stars kept firing, but Manny Legace kept getting in their way. Legace made 31 saves and earned his second shutout of the season to set the stage for the Red Wings to take a 3-0 win over the Stars. Kirk Maltby scored the game winning goal.
Both teams had their scoring chances in the first period. Brett Hull had a near-breakaway when he intercepted a bad pass by Sergei Zubov, but he was tripped on his way to the net and slid in, bowling over goaltender Marty Turco in the process. Dallas had two well-executed power plays, but Legace was able to hold off the Stars' snipers.
Maltby opened the scoring early in the second. Derian Hatcher made a good clearing pass to spring Henrik Zetterberg, who flew up the left side with the puck. Darren McCarty kept up on the right side, and Maltby trailed the play up senter. McCarty and Zubov tussled in front of the net, effectively screening Turco, and Zetterberg passed across to Maltby. Maltby's shot beat Turco low to the stick side.
Hull added to the lead midway through the period. Jason Williams made an excellent pass from the left corner out to Hull at the top of the goal crease, and Hull deflected it gently between Turco's leg pads.
The Stars came out with more pressure to start the third period, but Legace was ready for them. He kicked out a huge save against Jere Lehtinen early, then held solid until the game was nearly over. Mike Modano thought he'd gotten the Stars on the board with two minutes left, then realized that Legace had dropped into a full split to keep the puck from slipping in through the five-hole.
Modano did actually beat Legace with one minute left to play, but the goal was waved off because the Stars had made a premature substitution by sending out their extra attacker before Turco was off the ice.
The Stars kept trying, but McCarty capped off the scoring by flipping the puck into the empty net with 16 seconds remaining.
Dallas outshot Detroit by a count of 31 to 21. The Red Wings' next game will be Sunday night against the Nashville Predators.
Notes: Steve Yzerman tried to play in spite of having a case of the flu; he played 1:01 in the first period then left because he did not feel well enough to continue... Maltby's goal was the 100th of his NHL career. Four of those hundred were power play goals, 77 were even-strength goals, and 19 were shorthanded goals... Nicklas Lidstrom was honored at a pre-game ceremony by team owner Mike Illitch for appearing in his 1000th career game on February 29th.
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