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Lehtonen Leads Stars Past Red Wings

(Sports Network) – Kari Lehtonen made 38 saves as the Dallas Stars snapped a pair of losing streaks with a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson, Krystofer Barch and Jamie Langenbrunner lit the lamp for the Stars, who snapped a season-high five-game skid and a seven-game road losing streak. Thursday’s victory was Dallas’ first road win since January 20.

“They had a lot of power plays that could have turned the game around, but we killed them,” Ribeiro said. “Once again, our goalie was outstanding, and we scored on our chances. But if we play well defensively, we’ll give ourselves a chance to win. We’re not going to score five or six goals a game, it’s the tight games that we are going to win.”

Tomas Holmstrom scored the lone goal for the Red Wings, who have lost two in a row since a season-high five-game winning streak. Jimmy Howard made 21 saves.

The Stars drew first blood at the 16:42 mark of the first period. Brenden Morrow controlled the puck at the top of the left circle and slid a no-look pass in front to Ribeiro, who put the puck into the net.

Eriksson’s short-handed goal with 23 seconds remaining in the period gave Dallas a 2-0 lead. The Red Wings failed to keep the puck in the offensive zone, which led to Eriksson’s breakaway. His shot hit off the pad of a sprawling Howard and trickled across the line.

Detroit seemed to get on the board early in the second, but Holmstrom was called for incidental contact with Lehtonen.

Barch made it a 3-0 game at the 8:54 mark of the middle stanza. A loose puck was gathered at center ice by Barch, who made his way to the slot. His initial shot hit off the skate of a Detroit defender. The disc came right back to Barch, whose wrister beat Howard.

With 3:31 left in the third, Holmstrom beat Lehtonen with a backhander on the power play to make it a 3-1 game.

Langenbrunner scored an empty-net goal with 1:43 remaining to seal the victory for Dallas.

“You can’t have success unless you’re dominant at home,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said.

Game Notes

Dallas took three of four from Detroit this season and has taken eight of 10 overall in this series…Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman (hip) missed the game…Dallas improved to 2-8-1 in the month of February…The Red Wings went 1-for-6 on the power play.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.