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#LGRW Final: Red Wings battle but fall to the Stars in OT, 2-1

Vladislav Namestnikov nets his first goal with Wings in losing effort to undefeated Stars

by Josh Berenter @DetroitRedWings /

DETROIT -- The Dallas Stars' power play has been historic to start the 2020-21 season, and the Stars' man advantage struck again Tuesday night, leading to a 2-1 overtime win over the Detroit Wings in front of 5,000 fans at the American Airlines Center.

Red Wings forward Vladislav Namestnikov scored his first goal with the Red Wings and goaltender Thomas Greiss held the NHL's highest-scoring offense to just two goals in the series opener, but the Stars earned their ninth power-play goal of the season and Jason Dickinson earned the overtime game winner to improve the club's record to 3-0-0, while the Wings picked up a point, but fell to 2-4-1 on the season.

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said he was pleased that his team played better than it did in the winless series against the Chicago Blackhawks, but the effort wasn't enough to beat a talented Stars team.

"Better defensively for sure," Blashill said about Tuesday's performance. "I thought we did a better job of our structure. Defensively, five-on-five, I thought we did a better job overall. Protecting middle ice, I thought we did a better job in our neutral zone, in our gaps, in our neutral zone forecheck. Those things were positives. There's certainly was a lot of areas we can get better at, though."

Video: Coca-Cola Post Game Comments | 1/26 DAL

Namestnikov's goal at 10:37 of the first period was assisted by Taro Hirose and Givani Smith, marking the first point this season for all three players.

Namestnikov has had several chances this season but was held off the scoresheet until Tuesday. The nephew of former Russian Five member Slava Kozlov said he was elated to score his first goal with the Red Wings and end his frustrating cold streak, but he said he'd rather have the win.

"I've had plenty of opportunities to score, but that's sometimes how hockey goes, they just don't go in. (And then) a goal like that squeaks in there," Namestnikov said. "So I'm glad to get that first one, but it would have been nice to get the win tonight."

Namestnikov's tally was just the second first-period goal for the Red Wings this season, giving Detroit a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission.

Video: DET@DAL: Namestnikov nets first with Red Wings

The lead didn't last long, though, as the Stars did what they've done best so far this season by scoring on the power play.

After a Filip Hronek slashing penalty 5:23 into the second period, the Stars wasted no time making the Wings pay, as John Klingberg scored four seconds into the power play on a slap shot from the point that deflected off Detroit defenseman Patrik Nemeth and past Greiss to tie the game, 1-1.

Joe Pavelski and Denis Gurianov earned assists on Klingberg's goal, giving Pavelski his 800th NHL point.

The power-play goal put the Stars at 9-for-14 on the man advantage to start the season, for a 64-percent clip. The Stars became the third team in NHL history to score nine power-play goals in their first three games.

Blashill said the Red Wings needed to be more disciplined against the Stars and limit the chances for their devastating power play.

"One of our major keys tonight was discipline," Blashill said. "Obviously, their power play is really humming. We've got to do a better job staying out of the box and play them five-on-five the best we can."

Much like the first period, the final frame on Tuesday night was a grind, with both teams struggling to maintain offense. The Red Wings earned a power play with 4:09 remaining in regulation when Anthony Mantha drew a hooking penalty, but despite several chances, Detroit came up empty, finishing regulation 0-for-3 on the man advantage.

The Wings battled early in the bonus period but Dickinson's goal at 1:32 of overtime ended the game and extended Detroit's road losing streak against Dallas to five games, with the Wings' last win in the Lone Star State coming in February 2016.

The Red Wings return to action against the Stars at the American Airlines Center Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. as Detroit wraps up its four-game road trip.

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