DALLAS - Scoring goals has been an issue for the Detroit Red Wings all season. However, on Saturday the Detroit offense erupted for five goals, including two from left wing and captain Henrik Zetterberg, in a 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.
Detroit (19-14-10, 48 points) was without center Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) and started a five-game road trip with additional goals from center Joakim Andersson, left wing Drew Miller and left wing Tomas Tatar. Goaltender Jimmy Howard also made 44 saves.
"Obviously, we were waiting for Jimmy (Howard) to be Jimmy all year long and tonight he was back to being what we expect," Detroit head coach Mike Babcock said. "Tonight he was big and square and soft and the things he's always been here."
It was Detroit's first time to score five goals in regulation since a 5-0 win at the New York Islanders on Nov. 29, a span of 15 games.
"Once we settled in and got playing, things were able to turn our way a little bit," Babcock said. "Obviously, we scored goals and on lots of nights we haven't scored goals this year."
The Stars, who outshot the Red Wings 45-27, received their lone goal from center Shawn Horcoff, a first-period shorthanded score.
Dallas (20-14-7, 47 points) generated the first 12 shots, but Detroit struck first when Zetterberg fired an intercepted pass into the Stars' net 7:04 into the game.
Stars center Tyler Seguin was attempting to clear the puck, but his pass went instead to Zetterberg and he finished with a wrister from the left circle.
Zetterberg added a second at 12:39 of the third when he blistered a one-timer past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who relieved starter Dan Ellis after one period. Zetterberg's shot rang off the post before going in.
Dallas answered at 12:47 of the first when Horcoff beat Howard with a wrister to his short side, a shorthanded goal, to tie the game. Horcoff's shot from the left circle found the gap between Howard and the post for his sixth of the season.
Detroit generated another opportunity at 14:02 of the first when left wing Dustin Abdelkader was awarded a penalty shot after Dallas defenseman Brendan Dillon tripped him on a breakaway. However, Abdelkader was unable to convert.
The Red Wings pulled ahead again at 1:55 before the first intermission when Andersson's wrister from the right circle sailed under Ellis' right shoulder for his seventh of the season.
Fourteen seconds later, the visitors struck again. This time it was Miller scoring for Detroit. Ellis had attempted to send the puck around the right side of the boards.
But the puck squirted past Dallas defenseman Jordie Benn and to Abdelkader, who sent in a shot from the left point. Ellis denied Abdelkader, but Miller poked in the rebound for his fifth of the season.
Dallas made a change in net to begin the second period as Lehtonen came on for Ellis, who allowed three goals on 13 shots in the first period.
The Stars also lost defenseman Aaron Rome after the first period to an upper-body injury. Rome did not play in the second period and was ruled out at the beginning of the third.
"It's an upper-body injury," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said. "He'll probably be out this week."
Peverley narrowly missed a second goal at 9:35 into the second when his backhand from the left circle was stopped by Howard. The puck trickled through and went over the line but after a review, the goal was nullified due to a whistle after Howard's save.
"They said they blew the whistle," Ruff said. "They were a little quick on the whistle in the first period too, but we've got to get by that."
The Red Wings scored again at 11:57 of the second when Tatar beat Lehtonen with a backhand for his eighth of the season.
Lehtonen stopped 12 shots in relief for the Stars, who finished their five-game homestand at 2-2-1.
NOTES: Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), D Danny DeKeyser (groin) and C Darren Helm (groin) were scratched by Detroit. ... Stars C Dustin Jeffrey and C Chris Mueller, who was recalled from AHL Texas earlier in the day, were scratched by Dallas. ... With Datsyuk out, Detroit RW Mikael Samuelsson, a healthy scratch for the past six games, returned to the ice for the first time since Dec. 17 against Anaheim. ... Dallas C Rich Peverley and C Tyler Seguin, who missed practice on Friday due to illness, participated in the morning skate and were both in the lineup. ... Red Wings D Alexey Marchenko, who was recalled from AHL Grand Rapids on Friday, made his NHL debut and was paired with D Kyle Quincey. ... The first-period short-handed goal by Dallas C Rich Peverley was just the second allowed by Detroit this season. ... Attendance was 17,232.