The Detroit Red Wings have been waiting for the puck to bounce their way at Little Caesars Arena. They finally got the odd bounce they needed to collect their first home win of the season.
Tyler Bertuzzi took advantage of a lucky break to score the go-ahead goal with 15:01 remaining and the Wings went on to defeat the Dallas Stars, 4-2, on Sunday.
The Wings, now 2-7-2, had scored a single goal in each of their previous two home games. They were headed in that direction again until the puck unexpectedly headed toward Bertuzzi’s stick.
Kings goalie Ben Bishop left the net to play the puck after a Niklas Kronwall dump-in. The puck deflected off the boards and back toward the front of the net, where Bertuzzi beat the retreating defensemen and banged it into the empty net.
Jonathan Ericsson scored midway through the period with a shot from the point that tumbled over Bishop’s right shoulder. Justin Abdelkader added an empty-net goal after the Stars cut the Wings’ lead to 3-2.
Powerless on power play
The Stars gifted the Wings a couple of early chances but they still couldn’t jump start their dormant offense. Dallas committed two penalties — a delay of game against Roman Polak and a high-sticking infraction by Jamie Benn against Dylan Larkin behind the Wings’ net.
The Wings were held to one shot on goal during the first power play. They put more pressure on Bishop during the second man-advantage. Frans Nielsen’s shot from the left circle struck the crossbar. Anthony Mantha had an apparent goal disallowed when replay clearly showed that he kicked the puck into the net.
Outside of those two power plays, the Wings managed just four shots against Bishop during the first period.
Their third power-play opportunity, which came late in the second period when Justin Dowling failed to leave the ice on time on a Stars change, was not only unsuccessful but abbreviated. Andreas Athanasiou whiffed on a shot and Dallas’ Blake Comeau gathered the puck and skated in on a breakaway. His shot went wide but seconds later Nielsen was called for boarding against Comeau.
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Bernier provides steady play
Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier hadn’t started since an eight-goal debacle at Boston on Oct. 13. He hadn’t seen the ice since he relieved Jimmy Howard two nights later in Montreal.
He gave up a goal midway through the first period when cheap detroit red wings jersey
Gemel Smith weaved his way around Larkin and drilled a shot from the slot over his right shoulder.
Bernier didn’t have to make a lot of noteworthy saves as the Wings’ defense was unusually solid. But he stopped everything else that came his way except for John Klingberg’s tally in the final minute and finished with 28 saves.
Mantha gets back on track
Mantha had gone scoreless since the second game of the season.
He finally broke through in the second period with a big assist from Gustav Nyquist, who delivered a perfect pass from behind the net. Mantha shot it past Bishop to tie the game at 1.
Mantha, who notched 24 goals and 48 points last season, also collected his first point in five games. Defenseman Mike Green, making his second appearance of the season, was credited with his first assist this season.