Stars spoil home opener for Red Wings, 2-1
Tuesday evening marked the return of professional hockey to Detroit, and by all accounts, it was a Star-studded affair.
The only problem for the Red Wings were that the two biggest Stars of the evening, Kari Lehtonen and Michael Ryder, were of the Dallas variety. In the end, two goals from Ryder and 39 saves from Lehtonen were enough to propel Dallas to a 2-1 victory over their conference foes.
Ryder, coming off a 2011-2012 season in which he tallied a career-high 35 goals, got things rolling at 5:41 of the first period when he collected a backhanded pass from Cody Eakin along the boards and skated out between the circles, where he fired a perfect rising shot that split a pair of Detroit defenders and beat Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who had 32 saves of his own on the evening, on the stick side.
While some nice work from Howard kept the deficit down over the next 40 minutes of play, Ryder struck again at 5:34 of final period to double the Stars’ advantage. The play began when Eakin prevented a Detroit clear and fed Ray Whitney in the slot. Whitney’s shot was blocked, but he recovered the puck near the right corner and slid a pass to Ryder at the left hash mark. Once again, Ryder made no mistake and buried his effort top-shelf over the pads of a sprawling Howard.
Damien Brunner spoiled the shutout with power-play goal with less than four seconds left in the game, but by that time it was too little, too late for the home side.
Dallas now returns home to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, while the Red Wings will host the Minnesota Wild in Joe Louis Arena on Friday evening.