Red Wings-Stars Preview
GAME: Detroit Red Wings (24-9-3) at Dallas Stars (23-10-1).
TIME: Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. EST.
Goaltender Marty Turco will have a tough act to follow if he returns to the lineup when the Dallas Stars host the Detroit Red Wings.
Turco did not travel with the team Monday, when backup goaltender Johan Hedberg helped the Stars to an easy 6-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. Not only did Hedberg come 3:52 shy of his first shutout of the season, he also had a pair of assists as Dallas won for the 13th time in 17 games.
"Marty's one of the absolute best goaltenders in the world," said Hedberg, who became the first goalie with two assists since Patrick Roy accomplished the feat with the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 29, 2000.
"And he's been playing that way. I love to play hockey, I think it's fun. But at the same time, I've got to be honest with myself and see who I'm competing with. So, I'll try to help out anyway I can."
The 30-year-old Turco has never beaten the Red Wings in nine career starts, losing four and tying five with a 2.88 goals-against average and .893 save percentage.
The Stars have an eight-game winless streak against the Red Wings with three losses and five ties since a 3-2 victory on Jan. 16, 2002.
Dallas' Mike Modano scored two goals Monday, and Brenden Morrow had three assists to extend his points streak to four games, totaling one goal and six assists in that span. Jason Arnott, who also had three assists Monday, has just 18 points in 32 career games against the Red Wings.
Detroit went into the holiday break with a three-game winning streak after a 3-2 overtime win Friday over the Chicago Blackhawks. Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper scored in the final 39 seconds of regulation after goaltender Chris Osgood was pulled for an extra attacker before Pavel Datsyuk netted the game-winner in the last second of overtime.
"Those goals were unbelievable," Datsyuk said. "I thought it was a Christmas present from Santa, a Russian Santa."
Datsyuk has a team-high 42 points for the Red Wings and has scored 13 of his 16 goals on the road. The Russian center has seven goals and nine assists during a nine-game road points streak.
Osgood has a 23-9-3 lifetime record against the Stars, but has lost his last three starts against them. He is 11-5-1 with two shutouts, a 2.10 GAA and .914 save percentage all-time at Dallas.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 26): Red Wings - 51 points, 1st place, Central Division. Stars - 47 points, 1st place (tied), Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Brendan Shanahan, 20 goals; Lidstrom, 28 assists; Datsyuk, 42 points; Chris Chelios, 64 PIM. Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 19 goals; Arnott, Modano and Morrow, 22 assists; Modano, 35 points; Steve Ott, 82 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 26): Red Wings - Power play: 25.2 percent (53 for 210), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (181 for 215), tied for 7th. Stars - Power play: 15.9 percent (36 for 226), 19th. Penalty killing: 85 percent (187 for 220), 5th.
GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Osgood (10-3-3, 0 SO, 2.97 GAA); Stars - Turco (18-9-1, 2, 2.53); Hedberg (5-1-0, 0, 3.33).
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 3-0-1.
LAST MEETING: March 13, 2004; Red Wings, 3-0. At Detroit, Manny Legace turned aside 31 shots while Kirk Maltby and Brett Hull scored second-period goals for the Red Wings.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 12-4-2 on the road; Stars - 10-6-1 at home.