DALLAS - If this was a measuring stick game, consider the Dallas Stars as having passed the test.
After Steve Ott scored with three minutes left in regulation to tie it, Trevor Daley connected in overtime to lead the Stars to a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Monday night at the American Airlines Center.
In an exciting game reminiscent of last spring’s Western Conference Final series between the club, the Stars rebounded from a 3-1 second period deficit to pull out the win in their second meeting with the defending Stanley Cup champions in five days. Dallas is now 6-1-0 in their last seven home contests and 8-4-2 in their last 14 overall, edging to within three points of Colorado in the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
“We know in this room that we’re a better team than we are in the standings right now,” center Mike Ribeiro said. “I think the most important thing is the win. Those two points are huge for us right now. Today was just a matter of pushing them back and finishing our checks.”
After Detroit goalie Chris Osgood stopped his first shot from the slot, Daley lunged at the loose rebound in the crease, knocking it over the line for his fourth goal of the season and his second career overtime game-winner at 1:51. Matt Niskanen set up the play by stick-handling into the high slot before feeding Daley with a short pass.
“I guess I got the credit for putting it in, but he did most of the work,” Daley said of Niskanen on the play. “It was a big two points, but we’re still chasing from behind and there’s still a lot of work to do. The way we responded tonight shows what kind of a team we are, and I hope we can take a lot out of it. We need to build off of it, it’s time. We need the points right now. We give them a lot of respect, but we battled hard out there.”
The comeback win was sweet revenge after the Red Wings manhandled the Stars to the tune of 6-1 in Detroit Thursday, and the loss snapped the Red Wings’ season-high six-game winning streak, although they are still 9-1-2 in their last 12.
“We kept playing aggressively and getting pucks to the net and the last play was the definition of aggressive,” coach Dave Tippett said. “When you push people and prod them to be better, this game proves it. We can still be better and when you get solid desperation and effort, that’s exactly what it’s going to take.”
For Grossman, it was his first career regular season NHL goal in his 110th game.
“To have 50 shots against Detroit, not many teams can do that,” Ribeiro said. “I think it’s a matter of work ethic. It gave us a chance to get those two points.”
Goaltender Marty Turco, who was pulled after allowing four goals in two periods Thursday against the Wings, was excellent throughout, making 26 saves.
“That’s the feeling we’re trying to get to,” Turco said of the exciting finish. “We’re pissed off and determined and what I’ve been doing hasn’t even been close to good enough to what we need. We’ve got a great group of guys and tonight was one of those nights where everyone was pouring it on.”
Tied 3-3 entering the final period, Dallas began the third on a four-minute power play, but a hooking call on Mike Modano just 40 seconds in partially nullified that. Their best opportunity on the second portion of the man advantage came at the 3:15 mark when Niskanen’s wrist shot from just inside the blue line zipped past a screen in front and rang off the goalpost.
Detroit went back on top on Pavel Datsyuk’s 19th goal of the season at 5:19. Just seconds after Red Wings netminder Chris Osgood made a nice glove save on Brian Sutherby’s breakaway attempt, Detroit counter-attacked and Datsyuk stick-handled around Niskanen and into the Stars’ zone on a 2-on-1. As he reached the left face-off circle, Datsyuk lifted a scorching wrist shot over Turco’s shoulder and in for a 4-3 lead.
The Stars came oh-so-close to tying it again with 11:35 remaining as rookie James Neal worked his way into the slot and then unleashed a wrister that hit the under-side of the crossbar and ricocheted almost directly down, bouncing in the crease. Loui Eriksson had two swipes at the bouncing puck but could not connect before a lunging Osgood managed to glove it away.
Dallas then capitalized on a late power play to even it up again with just 3:00 left in regulation. After receiving a cross-ice pass from Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro slid a soft feed from the right circle in front to Ott, who re-directed it past Osgood into the open side of the net. It was Ott’s fourth goal of the season and his first career power play tally.
The Stars made things interesting as Grossman was whistled for delay of game with 1:21 left in regulation for shooting the puck over the glass from the defensive zone. Turco had to make an outstanding pad save through a screen on Datsyuk’s one-timer from the right face-off circle with 22 seconds on the clock to send the game into OT.
“Killing that penalty late gave us the chance to win,” Ribeiro said.
After starting out well in the first half of the opening period, the Stars leading 5-1 in shots on goal at one point, the Red Wings began to take away the momentum about midway through the first.
About a minute and a half after Turco made a sparkling save on Dan Cleary’s one-timer from the left face-off circle, the Red Wings broke through on somewhat of a fluky goal to take a 1-0 lead at 10:49. Brian Rafalski took an off-speed slap shot from the right point that deflected off Eriksson’s stick at the top of the circle and skittered past Turco.
Just 1:50 later, Detroit went up by two following a beautiful play by Datsyuk to set up Tomas Holmstrom’s 13th goal of the year. Datsyuk carried the puck through the neutral zone and made a sweet dipsy-doo move to blow past defenseman Darryl Sydor, then sped into the right face-off circle before slipping a nifty backhand pass to the charging Holmstrom in the left circle, and Holmstrom entombed it into the open side of the net.
The Stars answered with 3:59 remaining in the period, as Grossman boomed a slap shot from the left point that zipped past Parrish’s screen in front and behind Osgood to pull Dallas to within one.
But the Red Wings would go back up by two just 1:42 after that as their top-ranked power play unit converted with Jere Lehtinen feeling shame in the penalty box. After Turco stopped Nicklas Lidstrom’s slap shot from just inside the blue line, the rebound pinballed off Sydor’s skate and Marian Hossa, camped at the right goalpost, poked it just over the goal line.
Trailing 3-1 heading into the second period, the Stars made it a one-goal game just 52 seconds in on Robidas’ second goal of the year. On a seemingly innocent play, Robidas fired a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that deflected off Red Wing defenseman Brad Stuart’s leg and past the screened Osgood.
Dallas thought they’d tied it at the 2:08 mark when Ott appeared to jam a rebound past Osgood on a power play. Osgood made a larcenous diving glove save on Ribeiro’s off-speed shot from low in the right circle, and his momentum carried him along the goal line as Ott jammed away at the loose puck. The play was called ‘no goal’ on the ice and even after replays seemed to show Ott poking the puck over the goal line, the video review upheld the no-goal ruling.
The Red Wings had an extremely close call of their own about five minutes later, but this time Turco came up with the unlikely save. Henrik Zetterberg faked a slap shot and then slid a pretty cross-ice pass from the right circle to the charging Hossa in the slot, but Turco dove across the vacated crease and deflected Hossa’s weak shot with his stick along the goal line and just past the right post.
The Stars continued to persevere and Parrish notched the equalizer with 4:07 left in the second. After a slick pass from Barch low in the right circle found him in the high slot, Parrish drilled a one-timer past a screened Osgood for his sixth goal of the season.
Dallas ended up outshooting the Red Wings 23-10 in the second period to head into the third tied 3-3.
“I don’t think we played that bad in the first, but we started getting bounces,” Grossman said. “We just said to each other get out there and play Dallas hockey. It was a great day for the D guys and the scoring was spread around. We’re trying to get a good run before the All-Star break and every game and every point is critical right now.”
The Stars continue a three-game homestand with a date Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres (7:30 pm, FSN), hoping to keep the roll going forward.
- Ott’s goal snapped a six-game scoreless drought.
- Parrish had gone four games without a point. He fired four shots on goal.
- Niskanen’s two assists snapped a five-game pointless streak. He also recorded a season-high six shots on goal.
- Richards’ assist ended a four-game point drought. He also led the club with seven shots on goal.
- The Stars’ 49 shots on goal was their most in a game since they managed 50 on Feb. 8, 1997 at Phoenix.
- The Stars have gone past regulation in seven of their last 12 games, going 5-0-2 in those contests.
- The Stars were 1-for-7 on the power play against the Wings’ penalty killing unit which is ranked last in the NHL on the road (but first at home), leaving them 3-for-31 with the man advantage over their last seven contests, after they went 6-for-16 in the previous four.
- Dallas had totaled just five regulation goals in its previous four games.
- Turco entered the day sporting a 5-15-5 record, with a shutout and a 2.88 goals-against average in 26 lifetime games, including playoffs, against Detroit.
- Already the Stars’ franchise leader in wins (223), shutouts (34) and assists (15), Turco moved into a tie for the all-time franchise record for games played among goaltenders, equaling former Minnesota North Star Cesare Maniago’s record of 420 appearances.
“Milestones, the end of your career is the time to look back on those,” Turco said. “They’re feathers in the cap and that’s about it.”
1 - 0 DET
Wrist shot -