The Detroit Red Wings squeaked by the high powered offense of the Dallas Stars last night, in a 3-2 overtime victory on the road. Jimmy Howard was stout, getting a much needed win, his first since Dec. 3rd against the Arizona Coyotes. Howard faced 41 shots, giving up just two goals, one late in the second period to Dallas' Colton Sceviour, and the second even later in the third period off the rebound to Vern Fiddler. As the puck cross the line, it was all but decided the Red Wings were going back to overtime, and Dallas possessed all the momentum on their way to the 3-on-3 overtime. But, fortunately for Howard, that was all that was asked of him, as Detroit's offense kept the puck in the Dallas zone, never surrendering a shot on net, and ultimately drawing a crucial penalty, giving them the 4-on-3 advantage in the OT period.
Now theÂ real story, not to take away from Howard's performance, was of course a young Red Wing stealing the show, and providing much needed offense. Rookie Andreas Athanasiou has shown off unreal speed and better than average stick skills in his time with the Wings, but nothing prepared us for the show he would put on last night. Just over midway through the second period, Athanasiou, or "Greek Lightning" as he's been affectionately nicknamed, cleaned up a rebound over a sprawling Anti Niemi, giving Detroit the 1-0 lead. Then, 6:38 into the Third period, lightning struck a second time, this time, with much more speed, skill, and of course, celebration. Andreas picked up a loose puck just outside the Dallas zone, sped down the boards, toe-dragged like a certain No. 13 is known to do so well, and roofed a backhand shot over Niemi, who could could just look up as the puck sailed over his stick.
Pavel Datsyuk took it upon himself to get one by the defense, and as Niemi could never get set the entire overtime, the man advantage paid off and Datsyuk had a wide open net to put the puck in for the game winner. The win put the Red Wings alone in third place in the division, getting ready for former division foe the Chicago Blackhawks, who look to continue their high scoring success against Petr Mrazek, and the Red Wings.