Red Wings-Stars Preview
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By KEVIN CHROUST
(AP) -- The Detroit Red Wings emerged from a snowy Winter Classic high on the experience and low on the result.
All thawed out, they'll try to get 2014 moving in the right direction Saturday night when they go for their fifth straight road win over the Dallas Stars.
The Red Wings (18-14-10) were unable to overcome the elements or the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 3-2 shootout loss at Michigan Stadium on New Year's Day.
"I thought we battled hard, played a really good game," defenseman Brendan Smith told the team's official website. "I thought they played well, too. That's the thing about these sometimes. Hockey's a game of bounces and they had a few and ended up capitalizing on the shootout.
"To even get the one (point) is huge but it's bittersweet. You want that extra one to put more gap between the Leafs."
Detroit is now a point back of Toronto for fourth place in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings play their next five on the road, where they are an East-best 12-4-3, and they've won four in a row at Dallas by an 18-9 score.
Smith assisted on goals from Daniel Alfredsson and Justin Abdelkader on Wednesday, giving the defenseman four points in five games after totaling five in his first 27. Abdelkader has scored in consecutive games after netting three in his first 35 while Alfredsson has six points in his last five games.
Henrik Zetterberg added an assist and has four points in three games after missing 11 with a herniated disc. He has 34 points to lead the Red Wings, who have dropped three of four.
The Stars (20-13-7) started the new year Thursday with a 6-4 home loss to Montreal. They had gone 5-0-2 in their previous seven games without allowing more than two regulation goals in any of them.
"I was concerned after going through the stretch we went through with a couple real emotional wins that we might get loose, and we were loose," coach Lindy Ruff said. "Parts of this game, I thought we gambled on the offensive side and gave up some real good chances that we normally don't give up."
Tyler Seguin and Brenden Dillon scored third-period goals to tie the game at 4-all, but that lasted for just 2:10.
"I didn't believe we deserved to win that game," Seguin told the team's official website. "I didn't think we earned it. I think they were faster than us tonight, they competed harder than us tonight, and I think we got a little complacent after having a solid few games in a row. We've got to be good at practice tomorrow and get ready for a heck of a team in Detroit on Saturday."
Seguin also had an assist and has four points in his last two games. The first-year Stars center leads the team with 41 points and is averaging 1.08 per game, up from 0.67 last season with Boston.
Jamie Benn scored Thursday and has seven points on a five-game point streak.
Kari Lehtonen allowed five goals before an empty-netter closed the game after going 4-0-2 with a 1.79 goals-against average in his final six starts of 2013. He's allowed three or more goals in seven of 11 career starts against the Red Wings.
The Stars won 4-3 in Detroit on Rich Peverley's overtime goal Nov. 7 in the clubs' only meeting this season.
Zetterberg had three assists that day and has a seven-game point streak against Dallas with four goals and 10 assists.
Updated January 3, 2014