The preseason games may not count for much, but they sure can be enjoyable for the fans. Brett Hull scored a hat trick, Derek King added two more, and Curtis Joseph stopped 25 of 27 shots in his first home game in red and white, as the Red Wings continued their preseason dominance with an 8-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.
The Wings scored four goals in the opening period alone, while the Stars had trouble mounting any kind of offense against the Detroit net. On the first play of the game, Henrik Zetterberg‘s shot off a Brett Hull pass was deflected, but came right back to Derek King, who sent the puck fluttering back into the net between the ice and the leg pad of goalie Ron Tugnutt.
Soon thereafter, tough guy Derian Hatcher took a penalty for elbowing. Hull’s first goal of the game came just as the power play ended, before Hatcher could get back to the play. Igor Larionov passed to Luc Robitaille behind the net, and Robitaille sent it out in front where Hull was waiting unseen to slap it in for the 2-0 lead.
Hull scored his second goal just nine seconds into a slashing penalty on Aaron Downey. It was much the same setup as his first goal, the difference being that it was new defenseman Dimitri Bykov who sent the puck behind the net to Robitaille. Again, Hull waited in front of the net with no Dallas players even trying to get rid of him, and again, he snapped the puck in for the goal.
Sean Avery made his presence known he collided with Rob DiMaio, who picked a fight. Avery is certainly not one to turn down a chance to drop the gloves, and DiMaio definitely seemed to get the worse end of the deal, both in the fight and in getting an extra two minute penalty for elbowing.
King scored the Red Wings’ fourth goal, after Kris Draper nimbly evaded a Dallas defender, flew up the right wing side, and snapped a hard pass to King on the left side. King one-timed the shot, and the puck flew past Tugnutt.
The second period continued in much the same way, though the Wings did shut down the production somewhat, and the Stars did try to create a little more pressure. Hull scored his hat trick goal with 10:24 left to play, and the defensively lacking Stars rescued Tugnutt by sending Marty Turco in to take his place. The Stars finally got on the board two minutes later, when Manny Malhotra scored on a neat pass from DiMaio through traffic to the front of the net.
Hatcher scored another goal for the Stars early in the third period, but a shorthanded goal by Jason Williams and a power play goal by Fedorov ensured that the game would go down as a rout.
The Wings continue their exhibition season Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The two teams are going to meet halfway and play at Hamilton, Ontario.