Stars-Red Wings thoughts

Some thoughts after the Dallas Stars beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in overtime Sunday.

*Well, who would have thought that after Game No. 33 the Stars would be within one point of the top spot in the Western Conference?

*Give them credit. During this 10-2-2 run they’ve played well, stayed around games and found ways to win. That’s what they did Sunday. I don’t know if it was anything one thing other than good old fashioned determination and perseverance.

*When you look at the standings all wins are big, but this one was really big. When you consider they were playing their second game in less than 24 hours on the road and they were playing their eighth game in 14 nights – with travel in between each game – this was an impressive effort.

*It was more impressive that there were a couple of places where they could have buckled. They were on their heels early in the game and down 2-0. It’s tough to come back when you might when the fuel tank might be starting to run a little low, but they fought back.

* The Johan Franzen goal late in the second that put them down 3-2 could have been deflating, but they fought through that, stuck with the program, played a solid final period and found a way to get it tied. They kept pushing and forced the Red Wings into a turnover that led to the Brenden Morrow goal.

*Big turning point early was the Brad Richards goal in the first. It came just 1:31 after the Red Wings went up 2-0 and put some much needed wind in the Stars’ sails. A few minutes later they go on the power play and tie the game.

*Special teams were good in this game. Nothing spectacular, but both sides of it came up big at key times. The power play scored once and the penalty kill was 2-3 against a very good Detroit power play.

*Plenty of heroes in this game for the Stars. Brenden Morrow has been great since the broken nose and had two goals on the day. Loui Eriksson was productive, scoring the game-winner and picking up a pair of assists. Richards scored another big goal. Jamie Benn with two primary assists on the final two goals. Andrew Raycroft played well, making some big saves to keep the Stars in the game. Trevor Daley logged 28 minutes in the game.

*Overall, even though they got off to a slow start, this was a pretty evenly played game and you have to give full marks to the Stars for making it that. And the Stars, right now, are finding ways to win these games.

*Nine of those ten wins in the 10-2-2 run have been by one goal. They are 14-2-3 in games decided by one goal this season. Goaltending has played a big part of it. So have special teams, especially the penalty kill. And so has the team defense, which has been very good at times during this run. They've been doing a lot of this by keeping pucks out of their net because they've only been averaging 2.57 goals per game over the last 14.

*A few stats from this 10-2-2 run:

Goals against average: 2.29

Team save percentage: .926

Penalty kill: 87.8 percent