Stars-Red Wings: Dallas Improves But Still Falls to Detroit

Ken ArmerSenior Writer IMay 10, 2008

    Frustration can be a constant companion in the Stanley Cup playoffs and this year is no different for the Dallas Stars. In previous years, they were out in the first round, but this year have found themselves moving on to the Western Conference Finals against the Conference best Detroit Red Wings.

    In Game 1, the Stars looked disorganized and not even ready to play against such a talented team. But in Game 2 everything went a little better for the Stars - even with the final being a 2-1 loss - at the Joe in Detroit. The plain fact of the matter was that the Stars were beaten by a better team in Game 2.

    Minor mistakes occurred, of course, but considering the opponent, the Stars played a very strong game. At the end, the teams were fairly evenly matched. Detroit scored 16 chances. Dallas ended the game with 15. The biggest issue was the fact that Marty Turco looked like the great goaltender he had been this year, but only after Detroit had already scored two goals on him.

    The first period would be the only one to see scoring between Dallas and Detroit. Detroit would ripple the mesh first at 5:56 on a goal by Darren Helm. The Red Wings throughout the season have been a deadly opponent when they score first and tonight it showed. Dallas would tie the game on a power play goal by Stephane Robidas at 10:41. The Red Wings would take the lead on a Henrik Zetterberg power play goal at 15:13. Before the final buzzer of the first period, the Stars Jere Lehtinen would leave the ice with an injury. News of his injury is sure to come out either late tonight or tomorrow.

    The second period was purely a physical slugfest. The Red Wings took three straight penalties: Zetterberg - Tripping, Chelios - Holding and Stuart – Tripping. The Stars would then try to match this with three straight sits in the box: Richards – Holding, Marty Turco – Slashing (served by Steve Ott) and Modano – Cross Checking. The Red Wings would then finish the period on two straight: Holmstrom for diving and Chelios for high sticking.

    The Stars finally get frustrated with themselves, their opponents, and the score in the third period. The Stars would take the 5 penalties in the third with the Wings recording none. Matt Niskanen would go at 8:43 for interference and then all hell would break loose. At 19:42, Brenden Morrow would visit the sin bin for holding followed by a Steve Ott roughing and misconduct at 19:55. Toby Petersen would serve the two minute roughing in place of Ott. At the final buzzer, Mike Ribeiro would show his dislike for the men in red with a match penalty.

    As the dust settled on Game 2, the Stars again found themselves on the losing end. Until frustration and anger had set in, they played a much disciplined game. Detroit outshot Dallas 34-18.

    Game 3 between Detroit and Dallas will be at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Monday, May 12 at 7pm. The game can be seen in the United States on Versus. If the Stars lose Game 3 in Dallas, their quest for Stanley Cup glory is almost certainly doomed to Detroit.