The Detroit Red Wings were among the league’s worst teams last season but they were perfect in one area — the shootout. Fresh off a 2-1 win at Ottawa in the bonus format, the Red Wings look to continue their surprising start when they kick off a three-game road trip at the struggling Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.
Detroit has been projected to finish last in the Atlantic Division but it owns a pair of victories over playoff clubs from last season, following up a 4-2 win over Minnesota by edging the Senators. Frans Nielsen scored the decisive tally againt Ottawa, giving the Red Wings 11 straight shootout wins and tying him with Radim Vrbata for the most goals (45) in the extra format. The Stars have been a trendy pick to win the Central Division but lost at home to expansion Vegas 2-1 before dropping a 4-2 decision in St. Louis despite unleashing 86 shots on goal. “We’re getting lots of shots on goal,” Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’ve got some things we really like and we’ve got some things we really don’t like. ... We’ve got to bear down and be better in our own end. If we can do that then we can build something good.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (2-0-0): Defenseman Trevor Daley spent his first 11 seasons with the Stars and the past two with Chicago and two-time Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh, but Tuesday will mark his first game in Dallas since leaving the franchise. “He’s done a great job,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He is confident. He’s got poise under pressure – game gets tied, he doesn’t panic. And he gives us another guy that can play minutes.” Center Martin Hanzal is expected back in the lineup after exiting Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury.
ABOUT THE STARTS (0-2-0): Not only is Dallas leading the league in shots on goal, it also is allowing the fewest (25.5), so the team is confident it is on the right track. “You’ve just got to keep everyone composed and sticking to the game plan,” defenseman Marc Methot told the Dallas Morning News. “You know Hitch has been here before and he knows what to do. You have to just trust the system and roll with it.” Ben Bishop, who was forced out of the opener by a cut over his eye, has not allowed a goal as he prepares to make his second start in net.
1. Red Wings G Jimmy Howard has stopped 74 of 77 shots and will get the start again Tuesday.
2. F Adam Cracknell, placed on waivers by the Stars on Sunday, was claimed by the New York Rangers on Monday.
3. Nielsen is 45 of 91 in the shootout, including a league-best 20 game-deciding goals.
PREDICTION: Stars 4, Red Wings 2