Andreas Anthanasiou’s love of scoring and Jimmy Howard’s strength in let gave the Red Wings a third straight win Tuesday night. The young Detroit forward scored two goals leading to their 3-2 win in OT against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. It became the seventh time in a row that the Red Wings beat the Stars on their home ice
The Red Wings came into the Big D with a two game winning streak and more importantly a thrilling win last weekend. They began their road trip in Denver where in front of 50,000 fans in an outdoor game they managed to beat the Avs 5-3. Dallas has been a strong team this season but their current two game losing streak at home has been somewhat of a concern for them and Coach Lindy Ruff.
Dallas lost a close one against the New York Rangers who are sitting comfortably in second place in the Metropolitan Division. With the notion of Detroit having won the last six when playing in Texas they’ll try to end the Red Wings dominance as well as their own slide downward.
They brought the game to the Detroit end and attempted the scoring chances at goaltender Jimmy Howard but came up short in the opening minutes. A point blank shot from Jason Spezza went on the pad of Howard where he put a glove on it moving the play in the Dallas zone.
Detroit recorded just two shots at Antti Niemi before the opportunity for more arrived soon after. Dallas gave the Red Wings two minutes on the power play but killed it off while allowing them very little to catch up to their seven shots through the halfway point. They increased their hold of possession against Detroit bringing the heat on Howard looking for the leading goal. The Red Wings played out the last two minutes in the first killing off the penalty with Howard remaining tight in net stopping 16 shots.
Both teams opened the second period trading time with the pucks on power plays but gaining anything from it after five minutes of play. The Stars were still hot on the puck using numerous tactics that would break the Red Wings netminder. He held strong through half of the game denying the Stars shots that came point blank on the slot for their 23rd recorded shot on goal.
They gained another two while Detroit started to pick up the pace in the game. Efforts from the team paid off battling the puck near the crease where a rebound got to the rookie scoring his third of the season for a 1-0 lead. They kept things under control until the last two and a half minutes with the Stars attempting to even things up. They got it done with Alex Goligoski passing the puck out front where teammate Colton Sceviour scored the tying goal for his eighth on the year. The play was reviewed due to a kicking motion putting the Star’s tying goal in dispute.
After a few minutes of review referees came back making it a good goal for Dallas and a level pegging to end forty minutes. They outshot Detroit for a second straight time with a 13-10 run over Detroit. It seemed to be yet another third period that the Red Wings would have to be strong in with a two game winning streak on the line.
Detroit was clearly working hard in the period despite Dallas still outshooting them at the net. The defense fought for possession each time the Stars had the puck on the move. After regaining the puck behind the net of Howard, Detroit moved the puck into the neutral zone where Anthanasiou saw his moment to strike. The 21 year old flew past the blue line going in on Niemi where a high backhander struck his second of the night for a 2-1 lead on Dallas.
It became a race to the finish as Detroit still held the ground halfway into the period with Dallas all over them in their attempts to tie it up. The Stars continued to push the Red Wings on defense scrambling plays near the net of Howard but coming up empty. Detroit made scoring chances in front of Niemi nearly getting the best of him on a loose puck but the veteran netminder made the stop knowing what was at stake for his team.
Three minutes were left in the game and the Stars holding a man advantage over the Red Wings. Detroit held off the 6-4 attack by Dallas before gaining back a man. The Stars kept their net empty even after Detroit scored one on Luke Glendening’s attempt that was just inches from seeing the inside of the net. A faceoff occurred in the Detroit zone on the glove side of Howard where tremendous efforts worked into a tie thanks to a second chance for Vernon Fiddler as he earned his eighth on his own rebound with 91 seconds on the clock.
The horn sounded the end of regulation as both teams moved into 3 on 3 hockey as Dallas out did the Red Wings 41-29 and would try to do it again. After 1:51 of even strength, the Red Wings were given a huge opportunity with Mattias Janmark hooking Gustav Nyquist. It led to Detroit playing four on three hockey with the Euro Twins in action. A fight from captain Henrik Zetterberg near the crease got him the puck finding Datsyuk to his left near the boards. He went in on Niemi with an accurate wrist shot scoring the game winner for his 13th and securing their 3rd consecutive victory.
Howard was the biggest winner of the night picking up his eighth win of the season and first since Dec. 3 against the Arizona Coyotes. In total, the 31 year old made 39 of 41 making it another successful performance by the once top goaltender for the Red Wings.
As the level of improvement got back to normal standards for such an illustrious teams, they would take it facing a highly skilled adversary Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks.