'Steps in the right direction': Wings fall short to Dallas, 3-2 in shootout
The Red Wings almost played the role of spoiler Monday, but ultimately just made Dallas work past overtime to earn an extra point.
Luke Glendening scored two goals but the Red Wings couldn't overcome Dallas in the shootout, as the Stars won 3-2.
The Stars won the shootout 2-1 in five rounds, with Denis Gurianov scoring the clincher for Dallas. Dylan Larkin scored the lone Wings goal in the shootout.
The Red Wings (16-24-7) gained a point in the first of the four game series against Dallas this week, a definite scheduling quirk, with Game 2 right back Tuesday in Dallas.
And for what it's worth, the Wings moved out of the Central Division cellar, vaulting past Columbus. Both teams have 39 points, but the Wings have more regulation/overtime victories to edge past the Blue Jackets.
"We competed hard, we tried to do it right defensively," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We weren't always perfect, but we tried to do it right. We talked about playing a simple road game and for the most part, we did a fairly good job.
"It's a hard team to create against. They're one of the best teams defensively in the league, so it's not going to be an easy game. You have to stick with it and in the end, we we were in position to win the hockey game, and it was unfortunate we didn't."
It was a big win for Dallas, which continues to be in a tight race for the playoffs.
The Stars came into the game trailing Nashville by three points for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division (the Stars have three games in hand).
With Nashville defeating Chicago Monday, the Stars remained three points behind with three game in hand.
Glendening was expected to be a sought after rental at last week's trade deadline, but the market apparently never really heated to expectations.
So, the NHL's leading face-off player remained with the Wings, and the no move worked out great Monday for the Wings.
Glendening scored both Wings goals, as his line with Adam Erne and Darren Helm were again the Wings' best all around line.
"We weren't at our best, but we battled and gave ourselves a chance to win on the road," Glendening said. "We're taking steps in the right direction. They're a heavy team, they play a fast game, but they'll try to grind you down and we battled and I'm proud of the way we stuck in there"
Both goals were classic Glendening goals, if there is such a thing.
Glendening's first goal tied the game 1-1 in the second period
The Wings had to kill off Evgeny Svechnikov's high-sticking penalty, which they did effectively and impressively. On the ensuing rush, Alex Biega (who had two assists) fed Svechikov skating up the wing.
Svechnikov snapped a shot that goalie Anton Khudobin swiped away, but the puck went straight to Glendening in the slot. Glendening, going to the net, batted a backhand rebound from the slot, tying the game 1-1 at 7:45 of the second period.
After Dallas took a 2-1 lead on Jason Robertson's (a California native who played youth hockey for Little Caesars) 13th goal, Glendening again got on the scoreboard.
Biega's shot from the point was redirected by Glendening, who broke free from defenseman John Klingberg and deflected the puck past Khudobin for his fifth goal, and fourth career two-goal game.
"That line has been consistently pretty good, they do it right," Blashill said. They keep it simple and they're good around the net. Luke has always been a guy who finds his way to be a good screen guy and he got a tip on the one (goal) and he drove the net on the other.
"They (the Glendening line) just do it right and they kind of embody what we need our team to be. That's shift after shift after shift of doing it right and out-working the other team."
The Wings appeared to take a lead early in the third period, but Sam Gagner's apparent goal was waved off.
Vladislav Namestnikov couldn't stop and skated into contact with Khudobin, enough to have Gagner's goal wiped away.
The Wings have talked about this particular week as a chance to get a bit of a playoff hockey, as it were, given the four consecutive games against the same team — and facing a team that was a Stanley Cup finalist last season, is fighting to get back into the playoffs, and whose style of play is suited for the playoffs.
"For us, it's a fun opportunity for some of the young guys who haven't been able to be part of the playoffs," Glendening said. "To play a team four times in a row, there will be adjustments every game and the intensity cranks up every game. It's exciting for our team to get an opportunity to play in a situation like that."
Roope Hintz (power play) opened the game's scoring at 15:50 of the first period for Dallas.
With Helm in the box for delay of game, Hintz received a pass from Miro Heiskanen near the dot. Hintz faked Michael Rasmussen out of position, drifted into the slot, and wristed a shot past goaltender Thomas Greiss (34 saves) just inside the post for Hintz' 14th goal.
"They play a hard, fast game and they work and want to grind you a bit," Glendening said. "We're trying to get there. They can be a difficult team to play against, and that's ultimately the kind of team we want to be, and hard team to play against."