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Season review: Red Wings vs. Stars

by Michael Caples / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- After winning a Game 6 marathon playoff game, the Dallas Stars beat the San Jose Sharks to earn a date with the Red Wings in the 2008 Western Conference finals.

It’s been 10 years since Detroit met Dallas in the playoffs, but history is on the Red Wings’ side. The Wings have never lost to the Stars’ franchise, beating them in 1992 when they were still in Minnesota, and beating them in 1995 and 1998 after they moved to Big ‘D’.

Season series: The Red Wings and Stars met four times this season, all in 2008.  The Red Wings won all but one of the match-ups, with a combined score of 12-5.

Red Wings 4, Stars 1 (Jan. 2): Chris Osgood made 23 saves, Dan Cleary had a goal and an assist, and Johan Franzen scored the game-winning goal.

Red Wings 3, Stars 0 (Jan. 5): The Wings shutout Dallas on a 22-save performance by Dominik Hasek. Brian Rafalski, Cleary and Franzen scored for the Wings.

Stars 1, Red Wings 0 (Feb. 17): Marty Turco made 28 saves to shut out Detroit. Niklas Hagman scored the lone goal in the contest.

Red Wings 5, Stars 3 (March 13): The Wings secured a playoff spot in the win. Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals and one assist, with Franzen, Mikael Samuelsson and Valtteri Filppula adding the other Detroit goals. Osgood got the win after making 16 saves.

The hottest stick in the NHL: Franzen started scoring in March, and has yet to stop.  In only 10 playoff games this year, Franzen has already scored 11 goals, breaking a franchise record for most goals in a postseason. Colorado scored nine goals in the second round series, and so did Franzen. ‘Mule’ recorded two hat tricks against the Avalanche, in a series where he broke Gordie Howe’s record for most goals in one playoff series.

Detroit team leaders:

Johan Franzen – 11 goals, 3 assists, 14 points
Henrik Zetterberg – 7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points
Pavel Datsyuk – 5 goals, 8 assists, 13 points

Niklas Kronwall – 0 goals, 8 assists, 8 points
Nick Lidstrom – 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points
Brian Rafalski – 1 goal, 6 assists, 7 points

Chris Osgood – 6-0 record, 1.52 goals against, .937 save percentage

Stars' playoff run:  The Stars opened the 2008 playoffs with a bang, winning the first two games against the defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks in Anaheim. The Ducks were able to stretch it to six games, winning Games 3 and 5, but weren’t able to contain a high-powered Stars’ offense. Dallas scored 20 goals against the Ducks in Round 1.

It took the Stars another six games to knock off San Jose Sharks in Round 2. The Stars took an early 3-0 lead, once again taking both games on the road to start the series. The Sharks won Game 4, however, and took the Stars to overtime in Game 5. In the longest game of the 2008 playoffs (and the eighth-longest ever in league history), the Stars and Sharks battled for 169:03, until Stars’ captain Brenden Morrow scored on a power play to wrap up the series.

Dallas Team Leaders:

Mike Ribeiro – 3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points
Brenden Morrow – 7 goals, 4 assists, 11 points
Brad Richards – 2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points

Stephane Robidas – 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points
Mattias Norstrom – 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points
Sergei Zubov – 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points (5 games played)

Marty Turco – 8-4 record, 1.73 goals against, .929 save percentage

Turco’s woes: Marty Turco has found success at the NHL level, winning 207 regular-season games and holding a career .913 save percentage. However, he has struggled in the playoffs, compiling a 19-22 postseason record, and the third round is the farthest he has led the Stars. Another stat that could be looming over Turco is his struggles against the Red Wings. The former Michigan Wolverine is 2-17 against Detroit.

New look Stars:  The Stars made one of the biggest splashes at the trade deadline this season, acquiring former Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist from Tampa Bay in exchange for Jeff Halpern, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Smith and a fourth round pick in 2009. The trade has looked good so far, with Richards currently third on the team in points. The Wings played against Richards only nine times in his seven-year NHL career, with Richards accumulating two goals, five assists, and a -1 rating.
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