Sun, 22 May 2022

Stars finish back-to-back set vs. rested Red Wings

Field Level Media
21 Jan 2022, 15:19 GMT+10

The Detroit Red Wings will be the fresher team when they host the Dallas Stars on Friday.

Detroit hasn't played since Monday afternoon, when it rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in overtime. That completed a four-game, season-series sweep, including a shutout two nights earlier in Detroit.

The Stars will be playing the second game of a back-to-back. They snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 road win over Buffalo on Thursday night.

Dallas won the first meeting with Detroit 5-2 on Nov. 16 in Texas.

In the Red Wings' latest victory, Dylan Larkin scored the tying and winning goals.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Larkin said. "We played Saturday at home and had a great game, and we come here, and there's a snowstorm and a lot of factors outside of hockey we had to deal with. That was the best third period we've played in a long time. We rolled lines. We got our guys out there and won draws. We were able to swarm them."

Larkin scored a career-best 32 goals during the 2018-19 season, but he is on pace to surpass that total. Detroit's captain has 18 goals and 18 assists in 35 games.

Despite the Red Wings' three-day layoff, coach Jeff Blashill hopes there will be some carryover from his team's comeback in Buffalo.

"Finding ways to win on the road can breed confidence," he said. "Finding a way to win is a big thing, and we need points."

The Red Wings added another forward this week, claiming Gemel Smith off waivers from Tampa Bay. He's the brother of Detroit fourth-liner Givani Smith.

Gemel Smith hasn't played this season due to an abdominal injury, but he could make his Red Wings debut as early as Friday.

"He's a guy who's played in a couple different organizations, been able to step in at different times and play, so he has some NHL experience," Blashill said. "He can play the center-ice position, so that gives us more depth at that position, which is important. He's got to be a good energy player."

Jason Robertson was the offensive star for the Stars on Thursday, scoring two power-play goals and adding an assist. His second goal, with 3:32 remaining, snapped a tie and proved to be the winner.

"It doesn't matter how we won the game as long as we did," Robertson said. "Going into (Friday), new game face, new game day, new team (but) same approach, trying to get a win."

All but one of the Stars' goals came on the power play. The second of Tyler Seguin's two goals came with the man advantage, and Roope Hintz had the other power-play tally.

"It starts with the faceoff," Robertson said. "It's critical. Roope did a good job on the draw (Thursday), just getting pucks to the net. On a couple of the goals, (we were) making some poised plays on the blue line."

The Stars are in the midst of a four-game road trip, which including upcoming stops in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Detroit will fly to Nashville after the Friday game to face the Predators on Saturday night.

--Field Level Media

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