Saturday, March 13, 2004

Wings 3, Stars 0

The Wings closed the season series against the Stars with a 3-0 victory in the Joe, going 3-0-1 against the Stars this season. The Stars' away woes continued, and Manny Legace got the start, making 31 saves and notching his second shutout of the season. In the first period, both teams came out flying, but Dallas got the majority of scoring chances. The Stars hit the post during the powerplay that resulted from a Jiri Fischer delay of game penalty. Then, Brett Hull had a breakaway opportunity and got a backhand shot off on Turco, who made the save and was bulldozed over by a falling Hull. But there were no hard feelings from Turco on the play, Hull giving his ex-Dallas teammate a pat with his stick. With four minutes left in the first, Pierre Turgeon had a great chance in front on Legace. Hatcher was out of position on the play, and Turgeon shot the puck in between Derian's skates, but Manny stoned him. In the final two minutes of the period, Legace was solid on the penalty kill, and Shanahan saved a potential goal by swatting the puck off the crossbar. Shots in the period were 12-5 Dallas. In the second period, Kirk Maltby scored at 3:27, assisted by Henrik Zetterberg and Derian Hatcher. The play came on crossing pass from Zetterberg to Maltby, with a Zubov and McCarty providing the screen on Turco. 1-0 Wings. Brett Hull scored his 24th of the season at 11:05, assisted by Jason Williams and Ray Whitney. The play came off a Williams backhand pass over to Hull, who beat Turco five-hole. 2-0 Wings. Shots in the period were 12-9 Wings. In the third period, Legace was strong as the Stars outshot the Wings 10-4. Brenden Morrow buried Nicklas Lidstrom at 13:40, pushing him backwards and onto his back as Morrow carried the puck near the corner. I was surprised that no Wing came to Lidstrom's defense, but it wasn't too violent a hit. Mark Mowers had a breaking chance in on Turco, but the University of Michigan alumnus pokechecked the puck just as Mark was shooting. The Stars pulled Turco with a minute left. In a controversial decision, Modano scored on Legace, but the goal was later disallowed due to an illegal substitution. Barry Melrose thought it should've been a goal, and Legace should definitely feel lucky to have the shutout. Darren McCarty scored a power play goal on an empty net at 19:43, assisted by Henrik Zetterberg. 3-0 Wings. The Wings were outshot 31-21 in the game. With Cujo just getting back into the mix after his sprained ankle injury, I was surprised that Manny Legace got the start. Coach Lewis has said that he wanted Cujo to start around 9 of the remaining 14 games. I thought Cujo would get the start today, and Manny would get the start tomorrow versus Nashville. Lewis gave Manny the better of the two games, which is an odd decision when we're trying to hone Cujo into playoff form. Nevertheless, Manny played incredible this afternoon. He got the shutout, and also received huge support from the fans, who cheered "Manny,Manny" after a couple key saves. It will be interesting how the Wings transition from Manny playing so well to starting Cujo tomorrow versus Nashville. Notables: Steve Yzerman played 1:01, as he left for the locker room after his first shift. Close friend Darren Pang said Yzerman had the flu....Chris Chelios was minus for four straight coming in, two games short of his career worst. That streak broke this afternoon, as he went even on the game....It was nice to see Hatcher get an assist in his first regular season game against the Stars since signing with the Wings....The Stars haven't won in Joe Louis Arena since the 2001-02 season....Maltby's goal was the 100th of his career....The Wings have dominated the Pacific Division at home this season, going 10-0-1....The Wings lead the league in penalty killing and have not allowed a power-play goal in 10 consecutive games....Multi-point getter in the game was Henrik Zetterberg, with two assists....Jason Williams, in his second game since healthy scratch status, has three points in two games....Steve Thomas only played 7:53 Dominik Hasek came on ABC for an interview during the game. He said that he "didn't deliver what I came for" and is "still trying to get healthy." He also stressed that he felt part of the team still. GM Ken Holland has said "never say never" about Hasek returning as a Wing next season, but the prospects are highly unlikely. Nicklas Lidstrom, "Nickie" to Barry Melrose, is the sixth Swede to play 1000 NHL games. He has only missed 17 games. He was honored by Mike Illitch for the 1000-game milestone before the game....The Wings' win today extended our unbeaten streak to seven, the best of the season. ABC Goof: There are way too many commentator mistakes during a game with the ESPN/ABC crew, so I'll only mention a technical mistake. The game was supposed to begin at 3:00, but was delayed 23 minutes to make for a 3:23 start. ABC showed the New Jersey, Philadelphia game in the meantime. (Editor: Here are the lines from yesterday's game, courtesy GWB) Maltby-Zetterberg-McCarty Whitney-Yzerman-Hull Devereaux-Williams-Thomas Shanahan-Mowers-Holmstrom Whitney-Williams-Hull Whitney-Mowers-Hull Maltby-Mowers-McCarty Thomas-Zetterberg-Holmstrom Devereaux-Williams-Hull Shanahan-Wiiliams-Holmstrom Hatcher-Chelios Lidstrom-Schenider Fischer-Rivers Fischer-Chelios Hatcher-Rivers Hatcher-Schneider Lidstrom-Chelios PP Shanahan-Williams-Holmstrom Thomas-Zetterberg-Hull Maltby-Zetterberg-McCarty Lidstrom-Schneider Hatcher-Chelios PK Maltby-Zetterberg Shanahan-Mowers Mowers-McCarty Whitney-Maltby Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Hatcher-Schneider Net Manny Legace


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