1) We finally won 3 games in a row. Hasn't happened since early 08-09.
2) We beat the Detroit Red Wings, a team I really really despise.
3) Do I need a three? We beat Detroit.
Yeah, in case you can't tell, I'm highly biased against the Detroit Red Wings. There are many players on their roster that I respect as individuals (Modano, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Howard) but as a team, I hate them no matter what. Kinda like how people view the New York Yankees. They do so well, with some good players, but that's exactly why you hate them.
Anyways, to the game itself.
Brad Richards had his third straight multi-point game, further leading me to suspect that he has a severe inability to score only one point during a game. But hey, as long as he does score, no problems with multiple points instead of just one.
Just like I predicted on Twitter, Ribeiro and Morrow combined on a play (with a little help from Adam Burish) to keep up their goal-a-game pace. Morrow has 4 goals, Ribeiro has 5 assists.
Speaking of Adam Burish, the ex-Hawk played a really solid game last night. He was key in setting up the Morrow goal, and played a really good game along the boards. As Ralph Strangis put it, he'll be the "little things" guy on that line.
James Neal finally stepped up his play. In the first period, he took a couple unnecessary penalties, but after an intermission where I assume Marc Crawford called him out, Neal looked much better the rest of the game. He made a smooth play to set up Brad Richards, who set up Loui Eriksson for a goal, and then scored his own late in the game by battling with Brad Stuart before getting off a backhander that fooled Osgood.
Overall, the difference maker was special teams and goaltending. The Stars killed off four Detroit power-plays and Brad Richards potted an early power-play goal, while Kari Lehtonen made some incredible saves on chances. The one goal that slipped past him was un-stoppable, and he still got an arm on it before it fell in the net. Osgood looked tired, and the Morrow goal definitely shouldn't have gotten past him.
Mike Modano got a 45-second salute from the fans during the "official" welcome back moment, but received applause constantly throughout the game. He made some pretty good plays, but with third line duties, it was apparent that he was frustrated with the rest of the team's play.
One of the bigger stories from the game will be the hit on Johan Franzen by Mark Fistric that likely resulted in a concussion for Franzen. The Wings claim the hit was dirty. I say the hit was clean, just in a bad area (Franzen hit the boards at a bad angle), but you guys decide for yourselves:
Yeah, an elbow was there, but it wasn't blatantly thrown towards Franzen with intent to injure. I think the landing did worse than the hit. Either it's clean, or Fistface is REALLY sneaky.