|Red Wings dominate Stars in 4-1 win, reach midpoint of season with 63 points|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 02 January 2008 23:27|
Dan Cleary had a goal and an assist to lift Detroit to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
Detroit (30-8-3) now has 63 points, nine more than Ottawa for the most in the NHL. If the Red Wings stay on this pace, they will have the most points of any team since 1995-96, when the Red Wings had 131. Detroit lost to Colorado in the Western Conference finals that year.
``The guys have been real professional the first half,'' said Mike Babcock, who will coach the West in the All-Star Game in Atlanta on Jan. 27, by virtue of his team having the conference's best record. ``You win 30 in 41 games, you've got to be doing something right.''
In other NHL games on Wednesday, it was: Anaheim 2, Columbus 1; New Jersey 3, Florida 2; Atlanta 5, Carolina 4 in overtime; Edmonton 3, St. Louis 2 in overtime; Phoenix 5, Colorado 2; and Calgary 4, the New York Rangers 3.
Johan Franzen, Dallas Drake and Pavel Datsyuk also scored for the Red Wings. Drake's goal was his first of the season, Henrik Zetterberg had two assists in his first game back after missing five games with a sore back and Nicklas Lidstrom also assisted on two goals to give him 700 for his career.
``We've been playing real good as a team, even though we've had some injuries to our top guys,'' said Lidstrom.
Chris Osgood made 23 saves for Dallas (23-14-4), which is second in the West with 50 points. Loui Eriksson got Dallas' goal.
``I think we had some real good chances,'' Stars coach Dave Tippett said. ``They had some too. Theirs went in, ours didn't.''
And while Detroit's numbers were positive, Dallas goalie Marty Turco's stats against the Red Wings aren't. Turco, who made 22 saves, is 1-9-5 against them.
``You don't have to remind me,'' Turco said. ``It's not just here, it's anywhere.''
Cleary opened the scoring with 7:59 left in the first period. After his original shot had been blocked before it got to the net, Cleary picked up the loose puck and beat Turco from the left circle with a wrist shot for his 13th goal.
Franzen scored on a breakaway 7:28 into the second period. After taking a pass from Downey, He put a move on Turco and put in a backhand shot. It was Franzen's seventh goal.
Drake scored 4:32 into the third period, when beat Turco on a one-timer from the bottom edge of the right circle. His last goal had been Feb. 14 of last year.
``It's been a long time coming. I just told the guys, 'the last time I scored, I think it was an eclipse,' `` he said. ``It feels great.''
Datsyuk added his 16th goal with 6:47 remaining.
Eriksson spoiled Osgood's shutout bid with 6:11 left with his third goal.
Ducks 2, Blue Jackets 1
At Anaheim, Calif., Chris Pronger and Ryan Getzlaf each had a goal and an assist for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 26 saves. The only puck that eluded him was Andrew Murray's first NHL goal at 15:59 of the first period.
Devils 3, Panthers 2
Jamie Langenbrunner and Noah Clarke scored first-period goals to help New Jersey win its ninth in the last 10 homes games.
Brian Gionta also scored for the Atlantic Division-leading Devils and Martin Brodeur made 31 saves as New Jersey won for the fourth time in the last five games.
The Panthers, who had won seven of the last eight on the road coming in, got goals from David Booth and Jay Bouwmeester.
Thrashers 5, Hurricanes 4, OT
Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal off a feed from Ilya Kovalchuk with 31.5 seconds left in overtime to help visiting Atlanta beat Carolina.
Ray Whitney, Eric Staal and Erik Cole each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who continued their December slide into 2008.
Oilers 3, Blues 2, OT
Dustin Penner scored his second goal of the game with 17.8 seconds to play in overtime and Edmonton snapped a six-game losing streak, extending St. Louis' home losing skid to four.
The Oilers also got a goal from Tom Gilbert, while David Perron and David Backes scored for St. Louis.
Coyotes 5, Avalanche 2
At Denver, Steven Reinprecht scored three goals and Shane Doan had the game winner with 3:11 remaining, lifting Phoenix over Colorado.
It was the Coyotes' second win over Colorado in three days. The Avalanche have now dropped four straight, including three at home.
Flames 4, Rangers 3
Jarome Iginla scored two goals to lead host Calgary.
Iginla has notched 16 goals in the last 15 games, giving him 29 on the season. The Flames' captain is on pace to eclipse his career high of 52 goals set in 2001-02.
In those 15 games, Calgary has lost just once in regulation (10-1-4).