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Hockey Today May 19

Hockey Today May 19

Red Wings favored on the road vs. Stars in Game 6
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

DALLAS (AP) -The Detroit Red Wings aren't really going to blow this - are they?

Just a few days ago, the Red Wings were still in a span of being undefeated for almost a month, owning the NHL's longest postseason winning streak in 15 years and doing it with flair. Three games into the Western Conference finals, they hadn't even trailed the Dallas Stars for a single second. All they had to do was win once more to seal a spot in the Stanley Cup finals.

Then the Stars won Game 4. And Game 5.

Now Game 6 is Monday night and the Stars are feeling good, realizing they are halfway to a historic comeback. They are set as a +105 underdog.

''I think that's crept into all of us a little bit,'' Dallas captain Brenden Morrow said Sunday. ''It's building. We're getting a little more of that feeling. None of us will be content just to make a series out of it. We want to win this thing.''

As for the Red Wings, they've lost four straight games only once all season. It seems hard to imagine this talented, experienced group would pick Games 4-7 of this series to do it again. Still, they're heading in that direction.

''We still have to stay loose as a group,'' Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. ''I think the experience really helps when you're in a situation like this.''

The Red Wings also lost consecutive games in the opening round. They bounced back by winning their next nine. Along the way, they closed out the first two rounds on the road, something they can do again Monday night.

Plus, Detroit still has a wee bit of wiggle room. Lose another and the Red Wings would still have Game 7 at their place, not that anyone in red would admit thinking like that.

''We're still up 3-2,'' center Kris Draper said. ''That's something that we've got to keep hammering home. We're in a dogfight with a great hockey club. You don't expect that to be easy.''

Dallas is the 13th team out of 153 to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 3-2 series. Only five have forced a deciding game, and only two have come all the way back to win the series.

Toronto did it in 1942. The New York Islanders did it 33 years later, in 1975.

Another 33 years later, the Stars are hoping to join the list.

''We've felt if we could get Game 6 at home, it would be a whole different animal,'' Dallas forward Mike Modano said. ''Who knows what can happen Wednesday in Detroit? But we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. We knew it would be an uphill battle. Nobody picked us to win this thing from the start. Last couple games, we've found a way to win. It's been kind of ugly but it's been effective.''

Stars goalie Marty Turco has limited the Red Wings to one goal in each game, setting their playoff low and then matching it. Maybe now Detroit is starting to feel the absence of leaguewide postseason scoring leader Johan Franzen, who has been out since Game 1 because of concussion-like symptoms.

Dallas is doing all the things expected from teams playing with desperation: Skating harder to loose pucks, winning battles in the corners and playing with more energy from start to finish. The Stars also have done a better job of keeping bodies from in front of Turco, reducing point-blank chances and helping the goalie see more shots.

''Everybody's got to pick it up (offensively),'' Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. ''We've got to try and make adjustments to win. Same old same old will likely give you the same result.''

The Stars have a pretty good idea of their foe's mindset, having been in the same situation last round. They won Games 1-3 against San Jose, dropped Games 4 and 5, then got their act together to close them out in six - although it took four overtimes to get it done.

Now that they're doing the chasing, Dallas players are taking momentum into this game, but that's only a good start. Detroit is likely to have some flaws worked out and some new wrinkles worked in. How the Stars handle those will make the biggest difference.

''The odds are against you, to say the least,'' Turco said. ''We've been on both sides. It's not easy. Things haven't changed from (Game 5). We can't lose. We're playing to win. It's Game 6, the biggest game of our careers. We want to keep playing. Who cares how it looks?''

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Monday’s best NHL bet
COVERS.com

Detroit at Dallas +105, 5

A few games ago we told you that Marty Turco was going to have to step up and steal a game from the Red Wings to keep Dallas alive. Guess what he went and did?

Turco has held Detroit to a single goal in each of the last two games and has been huge starting Dallas’ breakout from its own end, even assisting on what turned out to be the winning goal in the second period of Game 5.

The Stars are allowing way too many scoring opportunities, even though Turco is holding the fort for now. Detroit will come out flying and the Red Wings offense will bust out sooner or later when it is developing as many chances as it is.

Good fight from the Stars, but this could be the end of the road.

Pick: Detroit

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NHL LONG SHEET

DETROIT (65-25-0-7, 137 pts.) at DALLAS (55-36-0-8, 118 pts.)

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
DETROIT is 11-6 (+1.9 Units) against the spread versus DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
DETROIT is 11-6-0 straight up against DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
10 of 15 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+4.8 Units)

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Trend Sheet

8:00 PM DETROIT vs. DALLAS
Detroit is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games when playing Dallas
Detroit is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Dallas
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 6 games
Dallas is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home

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NHL Playoff Gameday

Detroit Red Wings at Dallas Stars


The Stars looked like they were finished a week ago. Dallas dropped the first two games of the Western Conference final in Detroit, and they were then pounded 5-2 at home in Game 3 of this series last Monday night. However, the Stars have refused to go away quietly. Dallas avoided the sweep last Wednesday with a 3-1 win in Game 4 at home, and they made things a little more interesting with a 2-1 road win in Game 5 on Saturday. Trevor Daley opened the scoring for the Stars on Saturday, and Joel Lundqvist potted the game-winning goal in the second period. Jiri Hudler had the only marker for the Red Wings. Marty Turco stopped 38 of 39 Detroit shots in the contest, and Chris Osgood made 19 saves for the losing side. Stars forwards Jere Lehtinen and Stu Barnes and defenseman Mark Fistric all missed Game 5, as did Red Wings forward Johan Franzen; each of those players is listed as questionable to be ready for Game 6.

Despite being the home side the Stars aren't favored by the oddsmakers in this one - the Red Wings opened as -140 road favorites. The total for the game opened at 5 goals.

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Hockey Today

Detroit at Dallas (8 p.m. EDT). The Stars have cut the Red Wings' lead to 3-2 in the Western Conference finals.

STAR

-Ryan Malone and Marian Hossa, Penguins. Malone had two goals and an assist and Hossa added a goal and three assists to lead Pittsburgh to a 6-0 victory over Philadelphia and a spot in the Stanley Cup finals.

SNAPPED

Pittsburgh advanced to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1992, beating Philadelphia 6-0 Sunday to win the Eastern Conference finals 4-1. The Penguins are 10-0 in the playoffs when scoring first.

SHUTOUTS

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 21 shots to record his third shutout this postseason, helping Pittsburgh advance to the Stanley Cup finals with a 6-0 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday. Fleury is 22-4-1 since late November.

SIDELINED

Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen returned for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, a 6-0 season-ending loss, after sitting out the first four games with a blood clot in his left ankle.

STREAKING

Pittsburgh is 12-2 in the postseason and 8-0 in 47-year-old Mellon Arena, the NHL's oldest arena, following Sunday's 6-0 shutout of Philadelphia in the fifth and deciding game of the Eastern Conference finals. The Penguins have won 16 straight at home including the regular season.

WORLD HOCKEY

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his second goal of the game in overtime, giving Russia its first title at the world hockey championships since 1993 with a 5-4 win Sunday over Canada. The loss also ended a 17-game winning streak for Canada dating back to last year's gold medal win. Alexander Semin scored Russia's two other goals. Brent Burns had two goals and Dany Heatley and Chris Kunitz each added one for Canada.

SWINGS

The last time Detroit lost two consecutive playoff games, in the opening round against Nashville, it went on to win nine straight games. The Red Wings have dropped their last two against Dallas in the Western Conference finals but hold a 3-2 series lead.

SPEAKING

``I think that's crept into all of us a little bit. It's building. We're getting a little more of that feeling. None of us will be content just to make a series out of it. We want to win this thing.'' - Dallas captain Brenden Morrow on Sunday about his team's chances of overcoming a 3-0 series deficit. The Stars cut the Red Wings' Western Conference finals lead to 3-2.

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Detroit Red Wings vs. Dallas Stars

The Detroit Red Wings and the Dallas Stars will both be trying to pick up a playoff win on Monday night when they meet at American Airlines Center.

Marty Turco was outstanding in making 38 saves as the Stars got past the Red Wings 2-1 in Game 5 of the Western Conference final on Saturday.

The Stars won that game as +240 underdogs, while the three goals fell UNDER the day's posted over/under (5).

Trevor Daley and Joel Lundqvist scored for the Stars, and Turco also assisted on the game-winning goal.

Jiri Hudler scored on the power play for the Red Wings, who were favored at -280. Chris Osgood stopped 19 shots in a losing effort.

Team records:
Detroit: 54-21-7
Dallas: 45-30-7

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Monday are 5-5
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Dallas are 7-3
After a loss are 5-5

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Monday are 6-3-1
Before playing Los Angeles are 5-5
After playing Detroit are 5-5
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
Detroit is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games
Detroit is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit's last 5 games when playing on the road against Dallas
Detroit is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games when playing Dallas
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 5 games when playing at home against Detroit
Dallas is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 6 games

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