Everything that could have gone wrong for the Dallas Stars in game one did. As a coach would say, the play on the Stars' side of the game was “piss poor.” I walked away feeling the Stars had played that way.
The Curse of the octopi was in full bloom in Detroit and the Red Wings continued their scoring and winning success against Dallas’ Marty Turco. By the end of the night, the Stars strongpoint of special teams was their undoing. The Red Wings put up three power play goals on the Stars before the final buzzer sounded in Game 1.
The Stars set the tone early in the first period, at least for sitting in the penalty box. The Stars drew two penalties back to back at 3:45 (hooking by Mattias Norstrom) and at 4:19 (roughing by Mark Fistric), which set up the Wings Brian Rafalski for a power play goal. The Red Wings went up by two goals while on the power play thanks to Johan Franzen after Toby Petersen of the Stars had taken a holding penalty at 13:56 of the first. The Stars closed the period down two on the penalty kill from a rare hooking penalty on Mike Modano at 18:30.
The second period went just as badly for the Dallas Stars, with a hooking penalty being called on Mike Ribeiro at 6:14. At 6:40 the Wings answered on the power play with a goal from Thomas Holstrom. At 15:37 the Red Wings would score again on an even strength goal by Valtteri Filppula at 15:37.
Now up 4-0, the Red Wings sat back and played 'contain the puck', suffocating the Stars in Joe Louis Arena. The Stars would stop the bleeding with a goal by Brenden Morrow at 18:53 of the second but the damage was already done.
The third period saw no scoring for either team. The Wings' Henrik Zetterberg took one at 2:04. The Stars' Brad Winchester took a slashing penalty at 19:19 and the Stars' Steve Ott took a holding penalty at 19:30 to end the game.
For the Stars to recover from this loss, they must score on even strength, get more pressure in the Detroit zone, and not give up power play goals.
Game 2 between Dallas and Detroit at Joe Louis Arena is Saturday, May 10 at 6pm Central on Versus.