- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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The Dallas Stars faced a tough weekend with back-to-back road games in Pittsburgh and Detroit and the end result was the Stars suffering their first consecutive losses of the season. After falling 3-1 in Pittsburgh Friday night, things didn’t get any better in Detroit Saturday, where the Red Wings defeated the Stars 5-2.
“We have some work to do,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We played two of the elite teams and I thought we were outplayed both nights. We definitely have some work to do to get to this level.”
“First, you have to give them (Detroit and Pittsburgh) credit. Those are two good hockey teams that when everything shakes out will probably be right at the top,” said Stars forward Adam Burish. “Second, it’s just a couple details in our game. We can probably shore up some faceoff plays and shore up our neutral zone, which was kind of the message after the game. We’ll get better at that. … The little things over the course of a game can make a big difference. You saw that tonight and the last game.”
The Red Wings controlled play for the first two periods, holding a 31-18 shots advantage but the game was tied 2-2 going into the second intermission. But the Red Wings scored three times in the third period to take control of the game on the scoreboard and earn their fourth straight win.
"They have a good team, you have to give them credit,” said Stars forward Jamie Benn. “They have a good team game and put pucks on net. We didn't have answer in the third period for it.”
The Stars came close to tying it with a little more than eleven minutes remaining, but a shot Benn was stopped by Red Wings defenseman Ian White, who ended up blocking the shot with his face.
Shortly after that, the Red Wings scored twice in a 1:13 span to put the game away. After a neutral zone turnover, Detroit’s Darren Helm made it 4-2 by finishing off a two-on-one and then Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart scored after the Red Wings won an offensive zone draw.
The Stars finished their four-game road trip with a 2-2-0 record and fell to 11-5-0 on the season.
“We had a great start, but that doesn’t mean we are going to go the entire season without losing games,” Burish said. “We’ve got to look at it that we can keep getting better, keep finding ways to improve and keep finding ways to make our team better. This was about as hard a road trip as you are going to go on and we were 2-2. That’ OK. I don’t think anyone is throwing a party over it, but 2-2 is respectable.”
The Stars opened the scoring, cashing in on their first power play chance of the game. After drawing the penalty on Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom that led to the power play, Loui Eriksson was the one to score on it. He grabbed the rebound of a Trevor Daley point shot and put it past a diving Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard 7:09 into the game.
The Red Wings drew even a little more than 10 minutes later when Niklas Kronwall scored off a blast from the top of the left circle.
Detroit took a 2-1 lead early in the second on White’s shot from the right point that made its way through traffic and past Stars goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
*The Stars were without defenseman Alex Goligoski, who is expected to miss about four weeks with a broken thumb suffered in Friday’s 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh.
*Stars forward Steve Ott missed his fifth straight game with a hip injury.
*Defenseman Trevor Daley picked up his 100th career assist in the game.