Detroit — The type of game the Red Wings want to play, need to play to be successful, Dallas plays similarly.
Defense, low-scoring, tight-checking, be opportunistic offensively, and depend on your goaltender to make the needed saves.
The Wings did it well Saturday, but the Stars were better in a 3-0 victory Saturday.
Tanner Kero (Hancock/Michigan Tech), Andrej Sekera and Ty Dellandrea (power play) had Dallas goals while goalie Anton Khudobin made 21 saves.
Sekera and Hintz scored third-period goals, ending any hopes of a Wings comeback in the defensive struggle.
“Everything they got, we gave to them,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “For a long part of that game, it was 0-0 and not much was going on. A lot of interference, and not a lot of open lanes, close checking. We gave them what they got and they didn’t give us much.
“Every person on the ice made it hard. We made it hard on ourselves and the other team made it hard on us. There just wasn’t much there, there were no lanes and a lot of interference. We just didn’t manage it and we’d been doing a great job of it.”
Sekera put the Stars ahead 2-0 at 8 minutes, 16 seconds of the third period, and it already looked like an insurmountable lead. Sekera lifted a shot from the point, with numerous bodies in front of goaltender Thomas Greiss, who never seemed to get a good look at the puck.
Dellandrea made it 3-0 at 13:43, the former Flint Firebird scoring his second goal.
The Wings were challenged to get anything going offensively against the Stanley Cup finalists last season, who played one of their typical air-tight defensive games.
“They’re a very difficult team to create chances against,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We’re not the only team to find it difficult. They’ve been a very good defensive team for a long time, and when they’ve struggled, they’ve struggled to score.
“But they’re a very good defensive team, with real good structure, and they’re big and good and they have a real good defensive core.”
Kero opened the scoring at 17:22 of the second period. Jamie Oleksiak found Kero skating alone through the slot, and Kero faked Greiss with a backhander for his first goal.
“We were fairly sound defensively,” Blashill said. “It was a tight-checking game. There wasn’t a whole lot of chances. It’s hard to create against them. Ultimately, we probably gave them their opportunities…”
The Wings (10-18-4) lost an opportunity to escape the Central Division basement, while Dallas (10-10-7) salvaged a split of the two-game series.
Greiss stopped 30 shots for the Wings in place of Jonathan Bernier (lower body), who was injured in Thursday’s victory.