I caught the game last night, but didn’t take notes so all I have is a few brief comments.
… It was a pretty even game, I thought, with both teams getting good chances and being thwarted by stellar goaltending at both ends. Both Chris Osgood and Mike Smith looked great last night. Maybe Turco ought to be watching his back. Also, Osgood’s finger isn’t 100%, making his performance all the more impressive.
… The Stars’ goal was off a great set up and was aided by the fact that Niklas Kronwall was taken out of the play when a shot went off his knee, causing him to collapse to the ice. Osgood was well out of position, but the play should have been covered by the defense.
… Henrik Zetterberg’s assist on Pavel Datsyuk was a thing of beauty. The Highlight Machine replay really doesn’t do it justice. A perfect pass through his legs and those of the defenseman, along the edge of the goal, right to Pavel. The best part, aside from the actual goal, was seeing Mike Smith totally faked out, only to turn his head at the last second and realize his mistake.
… It was good to see the #1 line show up on the radar in the third period after a pretty quiet first 40+ minutes. Somehow Pavel and Hank logged over 20 minutes each, but I hardly remember seeing them on the ice until some time in the third. Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, and Johan Franzen were much more visible, for whatever reason. Still, Hank and Pavel ended up with a goal each, so I guess I can’t say they had a bad night.
… One thing I thought the Stars did better than the Wings last night was forecheck. They were very dangerous in the Detroit end when forcing the puck carriers, often making it very difficult for the Wings to get it out of the zone.
… Overall, not a bad game. Very defensively oriented, but the Wings stacked up well, of course, and were able to make plays when it was needed. It was an important win, as they keep pace with Nashville, who beat San Jose 5-0 last night. The Wings have a couple days off before they play in Phoenix on Saturday.