Detroit Red Wings' Top Two Lines Come Up Big Against Dallas Stars

By Jonathan Katje
Filppula Red Wings
Rick Osentoski – USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings’ offense had their second-best outing of the season Tuesday night, as they defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1 thanks to two goals from Valtteri Filppula. The team’s much-maligned power play unit converted on one of its six chances, while the penalty kill unit shut down the Stars on all six of their chances.

Henrik Zetterberg got the power play goal for the Wings, his second of the season, and also had an assist. Swiss rookie Damien Brunner got his third goal of the season in the third period as he continues to thrive on a line with Zetterberg and Johan Franzen. Pavel Datsyuk finished the game with two assists, and now has six points on the season. Getting all of their star players and all six players on the top two lines was a great step forward for Detroit, and the Wings now sit fifth in the Western Conference with a 3-2-1 record. Rookie defenseman Brian Lashoff was a healthy scratch, as coach Mike Babcock instead inserted Jakub Kindl into the lineup. Kindl is a better producer on the power play, and the decision seemed to work out favorably for Detroit.

Jimmy Howard was stellar in goal for the Red Wings in his sixth straight start of the season. He turned aside 24 shots while getting his third win, and now gets two days rest before Friday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. Backup Jonas Gustavsson remains day-to-day with a groin injury.

The Red Wings remain the only team in the league without a first-period goal this season. As Howard and Kari Lehtonen traded spectacular saves through the first frame, the game looked to be headed in the direction of another one-goal decision. Detroit’s offensive outburst in the latter two periods showed that it may not matter if they don’t score early, as long as they hold their opponent to the same, and score a lot in the second and third periods.

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