The Detroit Red Wings got a 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night, but that final score tells only part of the story. The Red Wings may have gotten a pair of goals from Henrik Zetterberg as well as tallies from Tomas Tatar, Drew Miller and Joakim Andersson, but they failed to score on four power play chances for a second consecutive game. They also gave up seven power plays to the Stars, and allowed goaltender Jimmy Howard to be peppered with 45 shots. Somehow the Detroit penalty kill units stood tall for a second consecutive game, as they continued to improve the league’s sixth-best penalty kill.
Andersson, Miller and defenseman Kyle Quincey each played more than five minutes while shorthanded on Saturday, and each finished the night with at least a plus-2 rating. Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff saw more than four minutes each on the penalty kill, while Niklas Kronwall, Luke Glendening and Dan Cleary also saw significant time. howard turned in one of his best games of the season, and the penalty kill performance was even more impressive considering strong shorthanded players Danny DeKeyser and Darren Helm were out with injuries. The Red Wings were also perfect on the kill in Wednesday’s Winter Classic against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and they have only surrendered four power play goals in their last nine games.
Detroit’s strong penalty kill will have a chance for continued success on their current road trip as they now face the San Jose Sharks (11th-ranked power play), Los Angeles Kings (22nd) and Anaheim Ducks (26th) in a four-day span starting Jan. 9.