The Detroit Red Wings continued their winning ways Wednesday night, defeating the Dallas Stars 6-2 for their third victory in four games. Detroit had gone winless in five games before the resurgence.
Steve Thomas, playing in his first game as a Red Wing after signing with the team as an unrestricted free agent last week, scored the eventual game winning goal and Steve Yzerman and Pavel Datsyuk each contributed two goals in the rout of the slumping Stars. Dallas has lost four straight games and has been outscored 17-4 across the span.
Detroit opened the scoring early in the game, with Yzerman using his right knee to deflect a hard Jiri Fischer shot past Dallas goaltender Marty Turco just 1:07 into the first period. Yzerman would then score in the closing minutes of the period, rifling a shot from the left circle past a screened Turco while on the powerplay.
Dallas cut the Wings’ lead back to one on a powerplay goal of their own by Bill Guerin only 56 seconds into the second period, but Detroit regained the two-goal advantage eight minutes later when Thomas put a one-timed backhand shot a past Turco from the top of the crease.
Brendan Morrow pulled the Stars back within one again, putting a rebound past sprawling Wings netminder Dominik Hasek with 8:18 remaining in the second period.
Mathieu Schneider, who had earlier in the game left the ice after blocking a shot with the side of his face, scored shorthanded at the 59 second mark of the third period. Yzerman drew four Stars into the right corner and Brendan Shanahan fed the trailing Schneider who sent the puck past Turco.
Pavel Datsyuk added another Wings goal five minutes later and then closed out the scoring with a highlight reel goal in the game’s final minute. Breaking in all alone on Turco, Datsyuk put the puck onto his backhand as Turco slid across the crease. He then pulled it back onto his forehand and roofed it into the vacated Dallas net.
Detroit’s special teams were key in the game, with the powerplay going two-for-three and the penalty kill adding a shorthanded goal.
Hasek stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced in net for Detroit, while Turco stopped 21 of 27 shots for Dallas.
The Wings are next in action on Friday when they visit Chicago. Detroit defeated the Blackhawks 3-0 on Monday this week.
Detroit forward Darryl Bootland was involved in his second NHL fight in only three NHL games. On Monday he fought Chicago’s Scott Nichol and tonight he went toe-to-toe with Dallas’ Steve Ott.