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game recap

Eaves' hat trick leads Wings past Stars

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:06 AM

NHL.com

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Eaves' hat trick leads Wings past Stars
Detroit Red Wings 7, Dallas Stars 3
Patrick Eaves enjoyed a night he'll never forget on Wednesday.

Eaves had three goals for his first career hat trick, giving him six goals in his last seven games, and the Red Wings scored six straight goals in a 7-3 victory against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center.

Normally a checker and penalty killer, Eaves is enjoying his role as an offensive threat.

"It feels good on my stick right now," Eaves said. "Goalies have to make a save when I shoot the puck. It's fun right now."

Goals by Brad Richards, Mark Fistric and Jamie Benn in a 1:14 span of the second period gave the Stars a 3-1 lead. But Eaves struck on the power play after Nicklas Lidstrom scored at even strength to help the Red Wings tie it at 3 entering the final period.

Brad Stuart's blast from the point at 5:29 of the third period got past goalie Kari Lehtonen, who was screened by Detroit's Justin Abdelkader.

Kris Draper's goal from the left circle at 13:23 of the third, and Eaves' second of the night 44 seconds later gave Detroit a three-goal edge. Eaves completed his hat trick with an empty-netter at 17:46.

Eaves has 11 goals, putting him on pace to surpass his career-high 20-goal season when he was a rookie with Ottawa in 2005-06.

"He can shoot the puck and he likes to shoot it," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "Like anybody who starts scoring, he shoots the puck all the time. Guys that don't score, they never shoot the puck. They just keep passing and wonder why they don't score. I'm glad he's got it figured out."

Jiri Hudler contributed a first-period power-play goal, and Jimmy Howard made 28 saves for the Wings, 4-1-1 in their last six.

Detroit improved to 52 points to tighten its grip on first place in the Western Conference.

The Red Wings were 2-8-0 in their last 10 meetings with the Stars, winning in Dallas for the first time since Jan. 5, 2008.

Hudler got Detroit on the board at 1:36 of the first period, 12 seconds into the game's first power play. Teammate Todd Bertuzzi had possession with his back to the net, and he passed to Hudler low in the right circle. Hudler lifted a shot into an open net before Lehtonen could slide over to cover.

Richards countered on a breakaway at 5:39 of the second period to tie it.
Fistric notched his second goal of the season, and second in two games, on a shot from center point that glanced off Bertuzzi's stick and got past Howard at 6:24 of the second.

Benn needed only 29 more seconds to give his team a two-goal pad when he set up in front of the net and converted Mike Ribeiro's centering pass.

But the Red Wings picked up their intensity with a 15-shot second period.
Lidstrom connected from the slot at 8:56 of the second, and Eaves drew his team even at 3 with a man-advantage goal at 17:38 of the second.
Then came a rare third-period meltdown by the Stars.

"It's one of those periods you've got to move by," Richards said. "It doesn't happen every day. It's unfortunate, but it happens in this game. Very unusual. We'll learn from it and move on."

Dallas was coming off Tuesday night's 4-2 road win at Nashville. The Red Wings had a two-day break, completing a four-game trip.

"We played last night. They were probably over there saying, 'They'll be tired. Let's get on them quick,'" Stars captain Brenden Morrow said after his team dropped its third straight at home.

"We worked hard for two periods and put ourselves in position to win a game. We've been good in the third period. It wasn't for lack of confidence or being tired. We just didn't execute. We got a little too aggressive, took some penalties, over-pursued on some plays and had blown coverage."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
scoring summary
1st Period
01:36
DET
PPG - Jiri Hudler (3) Snap shot - ASST: Todd Bertuzzi (18), Nicklas Lidstrom (24)
1 - 0 DET
2nd Period
05:39
DAL
Brad Richards (17) Wrist shot - ASST: Loui Eriksson (24), Trevor Daley (10)
1 - 1 Tie
06:24
DAL
Mark Fistric (2) Slapshot - ASST: Brenden Morrow (9), Jamie Benn (14)
2 - 1 DAL
06:53
DAL
Jamie Benn (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Ribeiro (24)
3 - 1 DAL
08:56
DET
Nicklas Lidstrom (11) Slapshot - ASST: Valtteri Filppula (13), Todd Bertuzzi (19)
3 - 2 DAL
17:38
DET
PPG - Patrick Eaves (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Johan Franzen (12), Brian Rafalski (24)
3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
05:29
DET
Brad Stuart (3) Slapshot - ASST: Jiri Hudler (7), Drew Miller (4)
4 - 3 DET
13:23
DET
Kris Draper (2) Slapshot - ASST: Patrick Eaves (3), Darren Helm (8)
5 - 3 DET
14:07
DET
Patrick Eaves (10) Tip-in - ASST: Johan Franzen (13), Henrik Zetterberg (29)
6 - 3 DET
17:46
DET
EN - Patrick Eaves (11) Wrist shot - ASST: Jonathan Ericsson (7), Jimmy Howard (1)
7 - 3 DET
penalty summary
1st Period
01:24
DAL
Steve Ott  Tripping against  Henrik Zetterberg
04:29
DET
Drew Miller  Slashing against  Steve Ott
14:53
DET
Johan Franzen  Roughing against  Loui Eriksson
2nd Period
15:39
DAL
Steve Ott  Roughing against  Brad Stuart
3rd Period
09:17
DET
Brian Rafalski  Hooking against  James Neal
17:02
DET
Niklas Kronwall  Interference against  Jamie Benn
17:02
DAL
Brenden Morrow  Roughing against  Niklas Kronwall
goalie stats
Jimmy Howard
SA: 31TOI: 59:44
Saves: 28EV: 23 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .903SH: 0 - 0
Kari Lehtonen
SA: 25TOI: 58:37
Saves: 19EV: 19 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 2
SV%: .760SH: 0 - 0