#12 Dallas Starsvs.#11 Detroit Red Wings
Written by Valdis Pans
Detroit Red Wings (17-18-6-0) vs. Dallas Stars (17-17-8-0)
When: 8:30 PM ET, Thursday, January 12, 2017
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Lines: Dallas -140/Detroit +120
Having registered just one win in four contests during their current 5-game road trip, the Detroit Red Wings (8th in Atlantic Division) will be keen to finish it off with a bang against the struggling Dallas Stars (6th in Central), who have just one win in their past five outings…
The Detroit Red Wings (17-18-6) refused to be counted out of the post-season action, displaying quite a coherent offensive mindset in a 4-3 overtime loss to a very good Chicago Blackhawks team, which won the game during power play just 38 seconds into overtime on Tuesday. The Hawks scored twice in a matter of 26 seconds in the first period, but the Wings managed to bounce back in the second with markers from Andreas Athanasiou (8 goals, 13 points for the year) and Tomas Tatar (9 goals, 19 points). Luke Glendening (2 goals, 11 points) tied the game 3-3 with 19 seconds left in the third period. Mike Green (7 goals, 18 points) and Justin Abdelkader (4 goals, 8 points) both returned from injury.
Goalie Petr Mrazek was finally quite convincing in the net for the Wings, despite allowing four goals on 43 shots, two of them during Chicago’s power play. He has gone 9-10-4 for the year now with a 3.14 GAA and is 1-0-0 against Dallas with a 0.84 GAA. The Red Wings are currently 26th in the league with 40 points from 41 games and are 10-8-3 on the road. They are netting the 7th lowest quantity of goals per outing (2.39), conceding the 9th highest amount in their defensive zone (2.90 per game). Detroit’s penalty kill ranks 13th in the NHL with solid 82.4% efficiency. Their power play, however, is still the very worst with an embarrassing 11.1% success rate.
Just like the Red Wings, the Dallas Stars (17-17-8) have been disappointing this season, have just one win in their past five games and are coming into this fixture on the back of a loss. After shockingly beating the Los Angeles Kings 6-2 on the road just 24 hours earlier, the Stars looked tired during the 2-0 defeat at the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, despite delivering 34 shots on goal. Right wing Patrick Eaves (14 goals, 23 points for the year so far) and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (5 goals, 6 points) both left the game injured. And while Eaves should back for the clash against Detroit, Oleksiak will join Ales Hemsky (no points this season), Mattias Janmark (no points) and captain Jamie Benn (10 goals, 34 points) on the sidelines.
Despite the loss, goalie Antti Niemi was exceptional in the net for the Stars, making 36 saves, some of quite incredible. He is 8-7-4 for the current campaign with a 2.88 GAA and has convincingly gone 13-3-3 against Detroit in the past with a solid 1.91 GAA. The Stars are sitting 24th in the league with 42 points from 42 games and have an OK 11-6-4 home record. They are averaging the 11th lowest amount of goals scored per game (2.60), allowing the 3rd highest portion on the defensive end (3.02 per outing). Dallas has the 11th worst power play unit in the NHL with a lowly 16.8% success rate and ranks 2nd from the bottom in penalty kill with a tragic 74.3% efficiency.
The Red Wings are not really playing well this season. In fact, their performance statistics are almost identical to those of Dallas, who have been hit by injuries and haven’t been able to deliver this term on constant basis either. The Stars have been quite good on their own ice, though. But the Red Wings have not really struggled in Dallas over the past few years, not losing a contest there since October, 2010. They are also playing a tad better at the moment than the Stars…
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Valdis got his first ever article published when he was 13, and has rarely stopped. He has worked for FHM, MTV Baltics and has done loads of freelance (from columns for Cosmopolitan magazine to helping with organization of Macy Gray’s shows in the Northern Europe). Speaks five different languages, loves pizza, American Horror Story and pipe organ music, and knows European soccer better than dates of his family members’ birthdays. Is an avid fan of ice-hockey too. He is a Latvian after all...