It was one of those games where not much happened.
The Detroit Red Wings hosted the Dallas Stars Saturday at Little Caesars Arena, engaging in a lot of north-south hockey but lacking in excitement. It ended with a 3-0 loss for the Wings, fresh off what was only their second two-game winning streak of the season.
Captain Dylan Larkin searched for the words to describe the outing.
“For a long time it was 0-0, not much going on,” he said. “Lot of interference. Not a lot of open lanes. It was close checking. We gave them what they got and they didn’t give us much. That’s the story of the game.”
Thomas Greiss got the start in goal as Jonathan Bernier is day-to-day with a soft-tissue lower-body injury. Greiss saw a fair amount of shots — 33 — but few were grade-A scoring chances. Andrej Sekera made it 2-0 midway through the third period when he fired a shot through traffic from the top of the right circle. Robby Fabbri tried to answer on a breakaway, but Antonin Khudobin denied the shot. Any chance of pulling Greiss for an extra attacker and attempting a rally evaporated when Ty Dellandrea converted on the Stars’ third power play.
Coach Jeff Blashill liked his team’s effort and compete level.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of chances either way,” he said. “They are very hard to create against. Ultimately we gave them their opportunities. We had a bad change and a turnover on the first goal. That was a tough one. Then they score their second on a seeing-eye puck on a deflection.
“There were times we made it harder on ourselves than we had to.”
The Wings (10-18-4) next play Tuesday at the Nashville Predators.
The game marked the season debut of defenseman Dennis Cholowski. He replaced Christian Djoos, whose play of late had been ineffective. Cholowski had been in Grand Rapids, where he tallied three goals and five assists in 11 games. The 23-year-old first-round pick from 2016 played 88 games with the Wings over the prior two seasons. He’s an NHL-caliber skater and transports the puck well, and has a great shot but he has failed to convince the Wings he should be in their lineup regularly is with his defensive play and decision-making with the puck. If Cholowski wants to stick around, he needs to make more positive plays than negative ones.
Cholowski played 12:27, 1:46 of that spread over the two power plays.
“It’s a very small sample size, but I thought he did good,” Blashill said.
Ryan bumps Svechnikov
Forward Bobby Ryan returned after sitting out two games with an upper-body injury. Playing seven defenseman and 11 forwards had worked well, so the Wings stuck with that configuration, which meant Evgeny Svechnikov was bumped from the lineup. Svechnikov wasn’t particularly effective his last two games, and his minutes had dropped into single digits.
Not much happening
Neither side generated much in the way of scoring chances through two periods. The puck slipped behind Greiss midway through the second period but officials immediately waived off the goal because it was clear Denis Gurianov had kicked in the puck. Filip Zadina had a chance near the crease when he got a hold of a rebound, but he wasn’t able to angle his stick to take advantage of an open net. Tanner Kero beat Greiss with 2:38 to play in the period, coming up the right flank and deking to his backhand. Shots after 40 minutes favored the Stars, 24-12.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.