By Paul Harris, The Sports Xchange
DETROIT — The Detroit Red Wings may have been outplayed but their special teams and goalie Petr Mrazek were the difference.
Mrazek made 34 saves and the Red Wings held on to defeat the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena for a come-from-behind win.
Detroit scored two power-play goals and Dallas was 0 for 5 with the extra man.
“I think power play (was the biggest part of the game). As much heat as we’ve taken but two big goals and we win by two goals,” said the Red Wings Dylan Larkin, who scored one of the power-play goals. “The game-winning goal was on the power play. It’s nice for both units to get one and have some confidence. Other than that, I thought Petr was great tonight, he stood on his head. The PK, so special teams and Petr were outstanding.”
Anthony Mantha (power play) and Steve Ott also scored for Detroit (11-10-2), which has a four-game point streak (3-0-1).
“I thought we had a specialty teams win tonight and then our goalie was real good,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We said you’ve got to win games with your specialty teams a lot in this league.”
Esa Lindell scored the only goal for Dallas (9-9-6), which was playing the second of back-to-back games. They lost 4-3 in overtime at St. Louis Monday night. Kari Lehtonen made 17 saves.
“We’re going to win a lot of games if we play that way,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.
Ott added an empty-net goal with 1:03 left.
Lindell gave Dallas a 1-0 lead 16 seconds into the game when his shot from deep in the left circle deflected in off the skate of Detroit defenseman Mike Green. It was Lindell’s second goal.
Larkin’s power-play goal tied the game 1-1 with 39 seconds left in the first period. His shot from the high slot area went in off the skate of Stars defenseman Jordie Benn. It was Larkin’s seventh goal and the Red Wings first in 15 power-play chances.
“The late goal to tie it up going into the second was huge,” Larkin said.
Detroit’s Tomas Jurco hit the goal post about 2:40 into the opening period.
Mantha’s power-play goal 7:56 into the second period gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead. Mantha tapped a cross-crease pass from captain Henrik Zetterberg into the open side of the net off the rush. It was Mantha’s third goal of the season.
“It all started with a great pass from Kronner (defenseman Niklas Kronwall) on that breakout. I saw that Z (Zetterberg) was open and I just gave it to him,” Mantha said. “I thought he was going to shoot, then he decided to give it back open net. It was just a great play from all the unit.”
Detroit’s Tomas Tatar hit the crossbar about 4:25 into the second period.
The Red Wings killed off 3:14 of being shorthanded with 46 seconds of it a two-man disadvantage in the third period. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson took an interference penalty on Patrick Eaves with 8:34 left and Ott went to the penalty box for tripping defenseman Julius Honka with 7:20 remaining.
“We found a way to lose tonight. We have to find a way to win,” the Stars’ Jason Spezza said. “The power play has to capitalize and we had a two-man advantage. I had two good looks.”
Dallas defenseman Stephen Johns left the game with a bloody nose with 3:29 left.
“I don’t know,” Ruff said when asked about Johns’ condition. “I know he was bleeding when he left the ice.”