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Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Red Wings 5, Stars 4

By Richard Durrett



DALLAS -- The Stars fell behind by two goals early and never could catch up, despite getting within one goal a few times, including with less than six minutes left. Detroit won it, 5-4. It seemed like every time Dallas got some momentum, the Red Wings stole it right back with a quick goal. The announced crowd was 15,182. Some thoughts:

* Kari Lehtonen didn't have a great night, especially in the second period. He allowed some goals he normally wouldn't and the Stars had to try to make up a two-goal deficit in the final 20 minutes.

* Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn had nice games. They were good with the puck and created some chances. Eriksson had a nice individual effort on the Stars' first goal, grabbing the puck behind the net and coming out in front where he rifled a shot that got past Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. Benn added a goal in the second. Jamie Benn played a lot down the stretch as they doubleshifted him late in the third.

* Detroit's Jiri Hudler knew right where the net was on Tuesday. He had two goals -- both in the first. Henrik Zetterberg had three assists.

* Defensive coverage was an issue again, though credit the Red Wings' speed for a lot of that too. Adam Pardy had a rough first two periods, but played better in the third.

* Jordie Benn looked pretty steady in his first NHL game, making smart plays and avoiding any major mistakes. Interestingly, he played with Pardy for much of the third period. Jordie Benn was also on the ice when the Stars pulled the goalie for the extra skater. I do wonder: If Stephane Robidas is ready for Thursday's game with Nashville (and he might be, but we don't know for sure), do the Stars consider making Pardy the healthy scratch?

* For the sixth time in franchise history, a pair of brothers played as teammates. And the Benn brothers both assisted on Eriksson's goal in the first period.

* Michael Ryder scored two goals, including one with 5:56 left in the third period to get the crowd fully in the game for the final stretch. It was Ryder's 16th and 17th goals of the season. That's one goal short of his total for all of last season.

* Some special guests at the game: Kansas State and Arkansas football teams, Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen and Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler.