'You saw the hunger': Red Wings squander late lead, fall to Dallas 5-4 in OT

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — These are the types of games the Red Wings are still learning to finish, grab the victory, and move on to the next game.

They proved Friday they're still grasping how to do those things, and it cost them a point in the standings.

Dallas tied the game late in regulation, then won it overtime on Roope Hintz's power-play goal, giving the Stars a 5-4 overtime victory.

"We played good at times, but just costly mistakes at costly times," forward Dylan Larkin said.

Hintz was alone in front of goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic and tapped in Joe Pavelski's pass for his 17th goal. The Stars got on the power play when Robby Fabbri tripped Hintz, giving the Stars the four-on-three advantage in overtime.

Stars forward Jason Robertson, who played his youth hockey in the Detroit area, tied it 4-4 at 18:57 of the third period, sending the game into overtime.

It was a frustrating way to give away a point, given the Wings had played well enough to claim a victory.

"We played a real good game, we have to find ways to win those kind of games," coach Jeff Blashill said. "It's part of the process we're going through here, learning how to win and we played way too good not to win."

With the Stars pulling goaltender Braden Holtby for an extra attacker, Robertson pounced on a loose puck in the slot and snapped a shot past Nedeljkovic at 18:57, Robertson's 16th goal.

BOX SCORE: Stars 5, Red Wings 4 (OT)

Tyler Bertuzzi — who just missed an empty net goal seconds before Robertson's goal — scored a power-play goal at 13:46 of the third period, temporarily breaking a tie.

Bertuzzi had the puck outside the crease and drew Holtby toward him. Seeing Stars defenseman Esa Lindell prone in the crease, Bertuzzi lifted a shot that bounced off Lindell and into an open net for Bertuzzi's 19th goal, tying Bertuzzi for the team lead with Dylan Larkin (who scored earlier in the game).

Detroit left wing Tyler Bertuzzi scoops up a loose puck while teammate Pius Suter keeps Dallas left wing Joel Kiviranta away from the play during the second period.

The power-play goal, at that juncture of the game with the decision in the balance, was exactly the type of goal the Wings haven't scored many times the past few seasons.

But they showed a confidence and determination heading into the power play that pleased Larkin.

"We had the mentality going over the boards that we were determined to score," Larkin said. "You saw the hunger and we won the battles there, got the puck to the net, and it wasn't a pretty goal but it counts just the same. We have to have that hunger every time."

The Wings fell to 18-17-6  to complete the first half of the season. Dallas is 20-16-2. The Wings play Saturday in Nashville (8:30 p.m./BSD/97.1).

"There's a lot of urgency," said Larkin of these current games, with the Wings on the fringe of a wild card playoff spot. "We know what's at stake every night. We're right there, we're a young team and not necessarily has been in this position for a couple of years, but every game matters.

"We're trying to catch teams that have games in hand, and at the end of the day, we want to be in the playoffs. But we have to finish games like this tonight, especially on home ice."

Robby Fabbri, Pius Suter and Larkin had the other Wings goals.

Ryan Suter, Joel Kiviranta and Esa Lindell scored for Dallas.

Kiviranta gave Dallas a 2-1 lead early in the second period.

Kiviranta got the puck near the hashmarks and lifted a shot that Nedeljkovic was screened on and never reacted, Kiviranta finding a corner for his first goal this season at 5:50.

But similar to the first period, the Wings came right back.

Bertuzzi left the puck on a rush for Pius Suter, who ripped a shot from the top circle that eluded Holtby at 7:34, Suter's ninth goal.

Almost two minutes later, Larkin quickly broke the tie.

Larkin took the puck nearly coast to coast, sidestepped Dallas defenseman John Klingberg, and lifted a shot that dribbled over Holtby's shoulder and into the net at 9:16, Larkin's 19th goal.

"There's not much about systems or planning, that's just real skill and skating," said Blashill, of Larkin's goal.

The Wings appeared to be headed with the lead into the final 20 minutes, but Nedeljkovic allowed his second quirky goal of the evening.

Lindell lined a shot that may have glanced off a stick, and found an open spot between the post and Nedeljkovic at 18:47, Lindell's third goal.

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Dallas opened the scoring with Ryan Suter scoring a fluky goal.

Suter snapped a shot from along the goal line that somehow found a hole with Nedeljkovic attempting to get to the post, Suter's fourth goal, at 12:03 of the first period.

"Ned will be the first one to tell you a couple of those he could have had," Larkin said. "That happens in a long season and you rely on him big time. But we had a great mentality we were going to get those back."

The Wings, behind Fabbri, quickly tied it 23 seconds later.

Bertuzzi saw Fabbri open on a dot to dot pass, and Fabbri faked Holtby into the ice before depositing his 11th goal, tying the game 1-1.


Twitter: @tkulfan