Stars-Red Wings Preview
GAME: Dallas Stars (35-23-12-0) at Detroit Red Wings (40-17-10-2).
TIME: Saturday, 3 p.m. EST.
The Detroit Red Wings are closing in on the Central Division title. Their
goals are much higher than that.
Western Conference-leading Detroit looks to extend a six-game unbeaten
streak when the Dallas Stars visit Joe Louis Arena.
Jason Williams and Curtis Joseph each made successful returns to the lineup
Thursday, leading the Red Wings to a 4-2 victory at Columbus.
Williams scored two goals after missing 20 games as a healthy scratch, and
Joseph stopped 31 shots after sitting out 11 games with a sprained right ankle.
"It felt really good to get back in the lineup," Williams said. "I've
been really waiting for this moment and I happened to get some good scoring
Henrik Zetterberg and Brett Hull also scored for Detroit, 5-0-1 in its last
The Red Wings, the league's best home team, are a virtual lock to win the
Central Division with a 15-point lead over second-place Nashville. Detroit is
more concerned with holding off Colorado for the top seed in the West, as well
as a tight battle with several teams for the NHL's best record.
Joseph said he wasn't sure how his ankle would react, and Detroit coach Dave
Lewis said he would see how Joseph felt before deciding whether he would start
Saturday. Manny Legace, 7-1-1 in his last nine decisions, would get the start
if Joseph is unable to play.
Detroit continues to play very well despite playing without injured forwards
Kris Draper, Pavel Datsyuk and Robert Lang and defenseman Mathieu Dandenault.
None of the four are expected to play Saturday.
Dallas rebounded from a disappointing 4-0 loss at Pittsburgh on Tuesday with
a 2-2 tie at Philadelphia on Thursday.
Brenden Morrow scored the tying goal with 35 seconds left in regulation,
helping the Stars move to 8-1-2 in their last 11.
Despite the tie, Dallas dropped three points behind San Jose for the Pacific
Division lead and remained fifth in the West. While winning the Pacific would
guarantee the Stars one of the top three seeds in the conference, they could
also catch Vancouver for fourth.
"We needed that point, especially after the way we played in Pittsburgh,"
Stars center Mike Modano said. "We skated well, controlled most of the play
and out-chanced them. We finally got the goal we needed."
Right wing Valeri Bure and defenseman Chris Therien, both acquired at
Tuesday's trade deadline, made their Stars debuts Thursday. Bure assisted on
STANDINGS: Stars - 82 points, 2nd place, 3 PB, Pacific Division. Red Wings -
92 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Bill Guerin, 30 goals and 57 points; Sergei Zubov, 33
assists; Steve Ott, 146 PIM. Red Wings - Lang, 29 goals, 49 assists and 78
points; Brendan Shanahan, 94 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 11): Stars - Power play: 16.4 percent (47 for
286), 13th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (222 for 261), 6th. Red Wings
- Power play: 20.7 percent (58 for 280), 4th. Penalty killing: 87.0 percent
(234 for 269), 1st.
GOALTENDERS: Stars - Marty Turco (32-20-12, 7 SO, 2.03 GAA); Ron Tugnutt
(2-3-0, 2.42). Red Wings - Joseph (14-9-2, 2, 2.42); Legace (18-7-5, 1, 1.94).
SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 2-0-1.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 26; Tie, 2-2. At Dallas, Teppo Numminen scored the tying
goal for the Stars with 6:02 left in regulation.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 12-17-5-0 on the road; Red Wings - 26-5-4-0 at