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Stuart makes sons happy with goal

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – With his two young sons 2,000 miles away for most of the NHL season, the one thing they always want to know from their hockey-playing dad is if he scored in the Red Wings’ previous game.

“The boys keep asking me, ‘Hey dad, did you score? Did you score?’ Now I can say, ‘Yes!’ ” said defenseman Brad Stuart following the Wings’ 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.

The best thing of all was that Stuart’s wife and two sons were in Detroit to see their dad end a 318-day goal-scoring drought when he capped the scoring with a slap shot from the point at 10:32 of the third period.

They were at the game, right?

“No,” Stuart said. “They were at (Friday’s) game, but missed this one.”

Stuart’s young guys, Jake and Logan, will get another chance to see their dad score, albeit a little closer to their southern California home, when the Wings make a three-game swing through The Golden State starting Thursday in San Jose.

Of course there was a degree of good-natured ribbing directed at Stuart in the Wings’ post-game locker room celebration.

“It was fun and we’re really happy for him,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “He’s got his two boys here and his wife in town, so we were real happy to see him get a goal.”

Coach Mike Babcock was happy to see three defensemen score Saturday, including Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall.

“We're always focused on having everybody on offense, when we're on offense,” Babcock said. “Stewie finally hit the net. Stewie puts holes in the rink like nobody I know. He missed the net twice in the first period and finally got his chance and buried it, so good for him.''

In the meantime, Stuart, who is in the final season of a four-year contract worth $15 million, said there’s a toll on being a long-distance dad.
“It’s tough but we do the best that we can,” he said. “The boys are the best thing in my life, so it’s real tough to be away from them, but we cherish all of the time that we do have together and it makes it that much more special. You just know that eventually things will change and you’ll be able to spend all of your time together. That’s just how you have to look at it.”
Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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