|Kyle Quincey scored on this shot from the point. He was credited with his first goal of the season, though it looked like the puck deflected off of Stephen Weiss, who was parked in front of the net. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
DETROIT – The incredible resurgence of Stephen Weiss continued Thursday night.
Eight different skaters picked up points in a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars, including Weiss, who led the Red Wings with a goal and two assists at Joe Louis Arena.
“I’m trying to stay in the moment as much as possible, not thinking about what happened or how fun it is,” Weiss said. “I’m just staying in the moment as much as possible and trying to ride this thing out as long as I can.”
Weiss’s return has been a huge motivational lift for the Red Wings, who have been waiting for the veteran center to get his scoring mojo back since overcome a 2 ½-year nightmare filled with injuries.
Weiss now has nine points in six games, including three multi-point efforts, since returning from a lengthy groin injury. His last three-point game occurred Feb. 26, 2012 in Florida’s 4-2 victory over Montreal.
“We all knew he was a hell of a player,” said defenseman Kyle Quincey, who had a goal and an assist with a plus-4 rating. “He just needed a chance. It’s huge for us. It gives us three solid lines offensively. He brings a lot to the table. We’re all rooting for him. It’s good to see.”
Weiss picked up two points in the breakout first period when the Red Wings built a 3-1 cushion, which was satisfying to see coming on the heels of Tuesday’s disappointing home loss to Weiss’s former team. He also had an assist on Quincey’s third-period goal that put Detroit up 4-2 at 7:39.
It was the second time this season that the Wings have scored at least three first-period goals and the first time since they scorched Los Angeles for four in the first during a 5-2 win on Oct. 31.
“We wanted a bounce back after the way we played the other night,” coach Mike Babcock said referring to the 4-3 home loss to Florida. “We weren’t very happy leaving the rink the other night about our work ethic, our compete and preparation.
“Tonight I thought we were good in all aspects. I thought we had some good games from guys and in the end we won the game.”
Darren Helm got the Wings’ offense going early. His goal from a tough angle off of Pavel Datsyuk’s face-off win in the Stars’ zone was definitely a bad goal for goalie Jussi Rynnas to give up. Rynnas, who was making his first NHL start in more than two years, had Helm’s shot from below the goal line go off his trapper, then his left leg pad before it squeezed between his body and the near post.
Fifteen seconds later the Stars evened the score.
Seven minutes passed before Weiss put the Wings back on top for good when he scored his fourth goal of the season on a pretty tic-tac-toe play with his linemates, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco, which was made possible by a Stars’ turnover in their own zone.
“I was kind of lost in the corner there when Jurco had the puck,” Weiss said. “I didn’t really know what to do. It was a great play by Jurcs across to She and She back to me, so fun to play with those two.”
The Red Wings cranked up the offensive pressure from there adding a power-play goal from Datsyuk, and even-strength tallies by Quincey and Helm. It was Detroit’s sixth five-goal game this season and fourth in the past five games.
“I like scoring more than the other team,” Babcock said, “and I like when the other team has less than two.”
In the last month, the Wings’ power play has been lethal. They’ve now registered at least one power-play goal in six straight games and 12 of the past 14. In that span, Detroit has scored 19 goals on 58 man-advantages for a 32.8 percent success rate.
Detroit and Pittsburgh are tied for the league lead with 24 power-play goals.
“If we can get a few on the power play and one or two even strength we’re going to win most nights,” Quincey said. “That’s been a key for us for a lot of years. If our power play is going it makes them respect us 5 on 5 and gives us a lot more room.”
Early in the third period it appeared that Weiss scored his second of the game, but the goal was given to Quincey, who didn’t see the puck go in.
“No idea. I closed my eyes,” said Quincey, of his shot from the point.
Weiss and Sheahan picked up assists on Quincey’s first goal of the season.
Regardless of who received credit for the goal, it was a big one as it provided Detroit with another two-goal cushion.
“Anytime you have a rookie goalie you want to test him and throw as many pucks as you can on net,” Quincey said. “Our goals were pretty nice goals that went in, nice passing plays. I thought their goalie played really well. We got five by him, but we played pretty solid, the whole 60 minutes and a 200-foot game.”