It took nearly a month, but the Dallas Stars finally collected their first regulation victory of the season on Saturday.
They will look to duplicate that outcome when they host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
Dallas had lost six of its past seven games prior to a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. The Stars’ four other victories came in overtime or a shootout.
“It’s one. We understand we can’t get it all back in a week,” Stars forward Joe Pavelski said. “We just have to keep going out there and focus on what we are doing day by day.”
Goaltender Anton Khudobin allowed the Stars to take a 1-0 into the second period by making 19 first-period saves. He filled in for Braden Holtby, who is nursing a lower-body injury.
Dallas extended its lead to 3-0 in the second period and scored again early in the third.
“We talked in the locker room after the first, ‘Let’s go and play like we talk about,’ and I think we played the second and third period pretty well (Saturday),” Dallas forward Roope Hintz said. “We had the puck in the O-zone the most we’ve had, and I think we just played pretty well those two periods.”
Stars coach Rick Bowness shook things up before the contest, making several lineup changes and even switching up some of his assistant coaches’ responsibilities.
“We got a lot of good efforts on all four lines,” he said. “The chances were there. They were consistent, and they went in.”
He saw a different mentality from his players.
“Swagger. That’s what we want,” Bowness said. “If we score, we want to go back at them. If they score, we want to go back at them. We’ve done it before, but (Saturday), that’s swagger that you have to play with and poise, and don’t let what happened affect your next shift.”
Dallas forward Luke Glendening, who had a goal and an assist against the Flyers, now will face his former team for the first time.
The Michigan native played eight seasons with the Red Wings. He signed a two-year contract with the Stars as a free agent in July.
Detroit will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set. The Red Wings allowed three goals in the last 4:18 on Monday and lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 in the opener of a four-game road trip.
The Red Wings had a 2-0 lead in the second period and led 3-2 in the third.
“For us to become a good team, we’ve got to learn to put this game away,” Detroit center Dylan Larkin said. “We got another chance, 3-2 and we don’t come away with any points. It’s frustrating right now.”
Lucas Raymond and Larkin each had a goal and an assist for Detroit. Larkin has four goals in the last four games, but that was of little consolation to him Monday night.
“We didn’t keep our foot on the gas and keep playing and keep making it hard on them,” he said. “Teams are too good, the league’s too tight to play half a game. You’ve got to play a full 60 minutes. We better show up in Dallas (on Tuesday) night and play a full 60 minutes.”
–Field Level Media