Home sweet home. That wasn't the case for the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night as they lost their home opener to the Dallas Stars 2-1.
Jimmy Howard made 30 saves, many of which were quality scoring chances, but Kari Lehtonen stopped 39 of 40 shots and Michael Ryder scored his first two goals of the season to propel the Stars to victory.
The Stars outshot the Red Wings 26-20 and led 1-0 as they controlled the first two periods, but Detroit stormed back in the last 10 minutes of the game. They outshot the Stars 20-6, but a collective effort on defense and stalwart goaltending helped the Stars hang on to win.
Ryder’s first goal started with hard work along boards by line mates Cody Eakin and Brenden Morrow. They battled for the puck behind the Detroit net and slid the puck to the left wing boards. Ryder attacked the puck and out battled two Red Wings to gain possession of the puck. He took a few strides toward the slot and ripped a shot through a screen of players and over Howard’s right shoulder 5:41 into the first period.
Nearly the same amount of time into the third period, Ryder’s second goal began with Stephane Robidas pinching into the Detroit zone to block a clearing attempt. Cody Eakin then skated in and passed the puck to Ray Whitney, whose one-timer was blocked. Whitney corralled the rebound and spun a pass around to a wide open Ryder who one-timed the puck past Howard and into the net. That gave the Stars a 2-0 lead and some breathing room to survive the onslaught the Red Wings would throw at them near the end of the third period.
Cody Eakin was called for a delay of game penalty with just under 8 minutes left, and the Red Wings went on the attack. They kept the puck in the Stars’ zone for most of the remainder of the game. Lehtonen repeatedly made big saves in close to keep Detroit at bay, but his shutout bid was spoiled when Damien Brunner one-timed his first goal of the season with just 3.4 seconds left in the game.
The Stars get a day to rest as they host the undefeated Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night.