DETROIT – The Red Wings are adding more speed to the lineup Sunday afternoon with the call up of Andreas Athanasiou from the club’s minor-league affiliate in Grand Rapids.
The speedy Athanasiou, who was the Red Wings fourth-round pick in the 2012 NHL draft, has produced 18 goals and 37 points in 64 games in the American Hockey League.
Athanasiou had a very impressive preseason, leading the club with four goals and three assists in five exhibition contests. He also finished tied with Dylan Larkin for the team lead in shots on goal with 15.
Through eight games with the Griffins this season, Athanasiou has been held to a goal and an assist with a minus-5 rating.
He is the second prospect to make his NHL debut with the Red Wings this season.
Athanasiou took his first NHL shift centering a line with Jokaim Andersson and Teemu Pulkkinen, and immediately put a body check on Jordie Benn in the Stars’ end.
Athanasiou won his first NHL face-off, beating the Stars’ Vernon Fiddler in the neutral zone at 7:59. The Wings’ rookie certainly added energy in the first, finishing the period with two hits, a blocked shot and winning 2-of-3 draws.
Meanwhile, the Stars built a 2-0 lead on goals by Patrick Sharp and Valeri Nichushkin.
Sharp’s goal came on the power play as Dallas capitalized on the first penalty of the game when Larkin headed to the box for interfering with Cody Eakin at 7:04. Just 18 seconds later the Stars grabbed a 1-0 lead when Sharp popped the puck behind Jimmy Howard, who was making his seventh start of the season.
Nichushkin, the Stars’ first-round draft pick in 2013, scored his first of the season by beating Brendan Smith to a rebound to the right of Howard at 15:19.
The Red Wings trimmed their deficit when Gustav Nyquist scored a power-play goal in the period’s final minute. The goal, Nyquist’s team-leading sixth of the season, came on a redirection from Niklas Kronwall’s hard pass from the blue line. The goal was also Nyquist’s team-best fourth power-play goal.
DALLAS 2, DETROIT 1
SCORING: 1. DAL, Sharp PPG (Klingberg, Seguin), 7:22; 2. DAL, Nichushkin (Jo. Benn, Jokipakka), 15:19; 3. DET, Nyquist PPG (Kronwall, Green), 19:33.
PENALTIES: 1. DET, Larkin (interference), 7:04; 2. DAL, Oduya (hooking), 18:13.
SHOTS: Detroit 8, Dallas 15.
It wasn’t a very good period for the Red Wings, though they still managed to trial by just one goal after 40 minutes.
Detroit had the first power play of the period, but failed to register a shot during the two-minute advantage. Not only didn’t the Wings get a shot on goal, the Stars’ Johnny Oduya managed to snap off a 35-footer, which was knocked aside by Howard.
The second power play chance of the period, the Red Wings managed to keep the puck in the attacking zone for all but the last two second of the man-advantage. But only one shot – that by Niklas Kronwall from the blue line – got through to Kari Lehtonen, who calming deflected the shot with his blocker into the stands.
Athanasiou had a few good chances to pull the Red Wings even late in the period. But with less than four minutes to go in the second he fired one shot high and wide, and the other was stopped by Lehtonen.
This is the second consecutive game that the Red Wings have been held to just three shots in the middle frame. Detroit had three second-period shots in their 2-1 overtime win at Toronto on Saturday.
DALLAS 2, DETROIT 1
PENALTIES: 1. DAL, Faksa (tripping), 2:57; 2. DAL, Seguin (too many men), 10:53;.
SHOTS: Detroit 3 (11), Dallas 3 (18).
The Red Wings had another power play chance early in the period, this time when Tyler Seguin was caught high-sticking Luke Glendening along the boards.
However, they got just one shot through on Lehtonen when Pulkkinen cut in on the right struggled more in the third.
Howard had to exit the game after he was accidently kneed in the side of the head by Jason Spezza. The injury occurred as the Stars’ center crashed the net on a 2-on-1 rush. Howard remained face-first on the ice for a bit as the play was allowed to continue before trainer Piet Van Zant attended to the Wings’ goalie.
So with 12:51 left in regulation, Howard, who made 20 saves, was lifted for backup Petr Mrazek.
The Red Wings were irate late in this one after it looked like Alec Hemsky left his skates to barrel into Jonathan Ericsson behind the Red Wings’ net. The hit sent Ericsson face first into the board, resulting a sizable cut next to the defenseman’s right eye.
The 6-foot Hemsky wasn’t penalized for the hit. But Ericsson, who is listed at 6-foot-4, retaliated with a punch to the head, received a roughing penalty.
With 2:08 left, the Wings pulled Mrazek for an extra attacker. The tactic didn’t work as the Stars got a pair of empty-net goals from Seguin and Cody Eakin.
DALLAS 4, DETROIT 1
SCORING: 1. DAL, Seguin EN (Sharp), 18:52; 2. DAL, Eakin EN (Ja. Benn), 19:41.
PENALTIES: 1. DAL, Seguin (high-sticking), 3:40; 2. DET, Green (hooking), 8:09; 3. DET, Ericsson (roughing), 12:05
SHOTS: Detroit 11 (22), Dallas 8 (26).