By Christy Hammond
The rising Dallas Stars (22-18-7) snapped a seven-game home winning streak for the Detroit Red Wings (31-10-7). Detroit is now in a four-game losing funk after the 4-2 loss with a chance to end it in a Saturday matinee against the Washington Capitals.
Despite a lively crowd at the Joe, the Stars grabbed an early lead and never looked back. Dallas goaltender and U-M alumnus Marty Turco earned his first career win (1-8-2) at Joe Louis Arena. The Stars registered three goals in the first frame with power-play tallies from Steve Ott and Jere Lehtinen as well as an even strength goal from Chris Conner. What makes this unusual is that the Wings have the best penalty kill at home in the NHL while Dallas has a league worst in the power play on the road. Detroit allowed three power-play goals in just five opportunities Thursday evening.
Wings goaltender Chris Osgood really didn’t have much of a chance on those goals whether it was a re-direction or just not having the defensive support that he needed. Head coach Mike Babcock pulled him after the first to try to change things up. He had made nine saves on 12 shots in the first. Dallas’ Loui Eriksson scored early in the second on Ozzie’s replacement, Ty Conklin.
Defenseman Andreas Lilja, who was named third star of the game, scored Detroit’s other goal of the game (and just his second this season) 15:11 into the second frame on a hard shot from the point. Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall assisted on the goal.
Detroit had two goals called back in the second period. The first one was when Dan Cleary shot the puck that, at first, appeared to result in a goal, but upon further review the puck was knocked away before it crossed the goal line plane. The second goal disallowed was on a Nicklas Lidstrom shot. According to the referee, Tomas Holmstrom was called for goaltender interference on Marty Turco. The Wings were not pleased with the call as it appeared that Stars’ defenseman Trevor Daley was the reason that Homer touched Turco. While getting another goal in the second would’ve helped boost the Detroit momentum, it’s still not an excuse for why the Wings were unable to win this one at home.
Detroit will head to D.C. to take on the Washington Capitals for the only time this season in a matinee contest at 12:30 p.m. As of Thursday evening, the Caps sit third in the Eastern Conference. Between their competitive play and forward star Alexander Ovechkin in the lineup, it should be an exciting game to watch.