The game play went end-to-end through the first period. Dallas had more shots on net, but the early shots were easily blocked by Dominik Hasek. The Stars seemed eager to play and ready to lay some hits on the Red Wings, but it was the Red Wings who opened the scoring with seven minutes remaining in the first.
Pavel Datsyuk tried to pass from the corner to Brett Hull in front of the net. The puck bounced off Hull’s skate and he couldn’t find it, but Boyd Devereaux was able to come up from behind and put the puck in past Ed Belfour.
The second period belonged to Dallas, who turned up the intensity and held Detroit to only nine shots on net in the period, while managing to take seventeen themselves. Joe Nieuwendyk put his team on the board seven and a half minutes into the period, moving as if to take the puck behind the Detroit net and then turning abruptly and squeezing it into the tiny space between the goalpost and the underside of Hasek’s skate.
It looked as if the Red Wings might be able to regain the lead when they got a power play chance from a slashing call on Sergei Zubov, but before the power play could get organized, Rob DiMaio, Scott Pellerin, and Derian Hatcher had the puck in the other end of the rink. DiMaio moved to the front of the net, Hatcher shot the puck in, and DiMaio was able to tip it past Hasek.
The Red Wings came out with some more energy in the start of the third period, but Nieuwendyk was able to score again. This time, he and Brenden Morrow had a two-on-one against Jiri Fischer. Nieuwendyk got around Fischer, sending him sprawling. Fischer tried to block the puck from the ice, but Nieuwendyk got off a backhand shot which caught Hasek by surprise.
Detroit finally got a needed boost with just over six minutes left to play. Pavel Datsyuk and Steve Duchesne brought the puck into the Stars’ zone. Duchesne passed from the blue line to Datsyuk at the right side, and Datsyuk sent off a fast shot which fooled both Richard Matvichuk and Belfour.
The Red Wings played with more energy after Datsyuk’s goal, but were unable to score again in spite of the added effort. Hasek left the net for the extra skater to come on with forty seconds left to play, but a hand pass called by the officials with only seven seconds left on the clock brought the faceoff back to center ice, and the Red Wings and Stars close their season series with two wins each.
Hasek stopped twenty-eight of thirty-one shots he faced in the game, while Belfour stopped twenty-six of twenty-eight. The Red Wings will return home to face the Washington Capitals on Friday night.