The Dallas Stars
just won't go away.
Facing elimination for the second straight game, the Stars instead handed the Detroit Red Wings
their second straight loss with Saturday's 2-1 decision in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals at Joe Louis Arena.
It wasn't easy. The Stars were outplayed for much of the afternoon and were outshot 39-21. Marty Turco
had to make 38 saves in order to win in Motown for the first time in his career (1-9-2).
Dallas relied on two of its role players to find the back of the net in Game 4. Trevor Daley
scored his first goal of the postseason 9:21 into the first period, while Joel Lundqvist
got what proved to be the game-winner when he beat Chris Osgood
at 6:04 of the second.
With Game 6 slated for Monday night in Dallas, here are five talking points from Game 4 to ponder as we await the start of Game 5 between the Pittsburgh Penguins
and Philadelphia Flyers
on Sunday afternoon:
1. Missed Opportunities
One of the key reasons why the Red Wings are being forced to go back to Dallas to play a sixth game is because of their failures in Game 5.
The second period spoke volumes. The Red Wings thoroughly outplayed the Stars for much of the period, and outshot Dallas 13-6, which gave Detroit a 27-16 edge through 40 minutes. But the Red Wings only came away with one tally; Jiri Hudler
scored on the power play with 4:30 remaining in the first period — which snapped Detroit's 0-for-14 slide with the man advantage.
On top of their 27 shots on goal through two periods, the Red Wings also missed the net 14 times. They misfired on 19 overall.
2. Twelfth Time's A Charm
Exiting Joe Louis Arena on Saturday afternoon, there's little doubt that nobody felt more relieved than Dallas Stars
goalie Marty Turco
With his team's season on the line, Turco entered the building with a career record of 0-9-2. But he didn't allow past history to get in the way. Instead, Turco was phenomenal — both offensively and defensively. Not only did he make 38 saves for his first-ever NHL win in Motown, but he also recorded the lone assist on Joel Lundqvist
's game-winning goal, which came 6:04 into the second period.
Clearly, this is a huge boost to Turco's psyche — and his team's. The Stars needed to know that their No. 1 netminder could win in Detroit, and he accomplished the elusive feat on Saturday. Should Dallas find a way to extend the series on Monday night at the American Airlines Center, Turco will have to find a way to win again in Detroit — in a Game 7 on Wednesday.
3. They're Human After All
Not only have the Red Wings now lost back-to-back games, but Saturday's loss was the first they've suffered at Joe Louis Arena since March 28.
It was a huge breakthrough by the Stars, considering Detroit was 7-0 on home ice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and had outscored its opponents 24-10. But the Red Wings' recent struggles on the power play — combined with their sudden inability to finish — ultimately led to their first loss of the playoffs at “The Joe.”
Hard to believe, but the Red Wings have scored only twice in their last two games.
4. Role Call
It wasn't the likes of Brenden Morrow
or Mike Modano
providing the offense for the Stars on Saturday. Instead it was the team's role players who came up huge to help Dallas force a Game 6 on Monday night. Joel Lundqvist
scored the game-winning goal early in the second period and had three hits in 18:17 of ice time. While he didn't land on the score sheet, Steve Ott
won seven of 11 faceoffs in just over 16 minutes. And defenseman Trevor Daley
— who had five goals during the regular season — scored the game's opening goal and was plus-2.
Clearly, the Stars will need another all-hands-on-deck effort if they intend on forcing a Game 7 in Detroit. Should the third and fourth lines continue to make the contributions that we saw on Saturday, Game 6 should be a dandy.
5. Where's The Top Line?
With Johan Franzen
still out due to concussion-like symptoms, the Red Wings once again had to rely on star forwards Pavel Datsyuk
and Henrik Zetterberg
Zetterberg's point streak was snapped at nine games – he was held to just three shots on goal — while Datsyuk was denied eight times by Marty Turco
. Datsyuk, who has 18 points this postseason, also failed to land on the score sheet on Saturday.
Franzen has only been cleared for light off-ice workouts, which means he will likely miss his fifth straight game when the teams meet again for Game 6 on Monday night. Without Franzen, the pressure will be on Zetterberg and Datsyuk to provide the offense that both are certainly capable of.
Contact Brian Compton at: email@example.com.