Stars hand Red Wings fourth straight loss

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DETROIT (Ticker) -- The Detroit Red Wings' woes followed them

home.

Steve Ott scored a goal and set up another as the Dallas Stars

tallied three times on the power play en route to a 4-2 victory

over the slumping Red Wings on Thursday.

Ott, Jere Lehtinen and Loui Eriksson all scored with the man

advantage for the Stars, who handed the Red Wings their

season-high fourth straight loss.

"I think we're slipping a little bit defensively," said Red

Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who returned to action after

sitting out the last game because of a league-imposed one-game

suspension for skipping the All-Star Game festivities.

"We're looking too much at the puck and not picking up players.

We're not quick on pucks, either. We have a chance to get the

puck out of our zone, and we don't. Then they get back and play

another 20 or 25 seconds and eventually score a goal."

Chris Conner netted his first goal of the season, Mike Modano

and Brad Richards each recorded two assists and Marty Turco made

21 saves for Dallas, which has won three in a row for the first

time this campaign.

"We were a determined team, and that's the kind of team we have

to continue to be to increase our playoff chances," Stars coach

Dave Tippett said. "We got tremendous effort throughout the

lineup, and that's what it's going to take to be successful."

Marian Hossa and defenseman Andreas Lilja tallied for the Red

Wings, who had won their previous seven home contests.

Detroit, which had not lost at Joe Louis Arena since December

15, had successfully killed 25 straight power plays at home

before Ott deflected Richards' shot from the high slot past

goaltender Chris Osgood with 9:45 left in the first period to

open the scoring.

"I don't get to leave this place with a smile on my face too

often," Ott said. "I grew up a Red Wings fan, so every time we

lose in here, I've got to hear about it for the next summer and

a half from all of my friends. Now, we've taken three out of

four games from the best team in the league."

The 26-year-old Ott has recorded 11 points in his last 11 games.

"It's the opportunity. I've been given the chance to play with

a magician in Mike Ribeiro and a Selke (Trophy) winner in Jere

Lehtinen," Ott said. "You're going to get your chances playing

with those guys, and for the last 10 games or so, we've really

started to click."

"When we lost (captain Brenden Morrow to a knee injury), we

needed (Ott) to step up and fill that role, and he's done very

well," Tippett added. "They're very similar players - gritty

guys who don't mind getting in front and stirring it up. This

is Steve's first time as a top two-line player, and he's taking

advantage of it."

Just 35 seconds later, Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios

received a double-minor for high-sticking, and the Stars cashed

in on the ensuing man advantage.

Lehtinen netted his fourth goal of the season, converting a

centering pass from Richards with 8:26 remaining in the opening

session.

"I thought we started out fine, then we gave up the two

penalty-kill goals right away," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

"The penalty-kill goals, for me tonight, were tough to take.

"The penalty kill has been outstanding all year at home.

Tonight, it wasn't outstanding. Then, we dug ourselves such a

hole. We tried to battle back, but you can't give a good team

that much of a head start."

Conner made it 3-0 with 88 seconds left in the period, ending a

24-game drought.

Detroit replaced Osgood with Ty Conklin to start the middle

session. But after Hossa was whistled for tripping, Eriksson

scored his team-leading 23rd goal of the season exactly two

minutes into the period.

Eriksson originally mishandled a pass from rookie James Neal,

but Conklin went sliding out of the crease, allowing the

23-year-old Swede to corral the puck just behind the end line

and quickly stuff it into the net to provide a 4-0 bulge.

Turco, who surrendered a pair of goals in the second period,

picked up his first career regular-season win at Joe Louis

Arena. He was 0-8-2 in Detroit before this one.

"They're tough to play, especially at home," Turco said. "We've

had our struggles, to say the least. To see that work ethic we

had, especially in the third period, was an awesome sight. I

told all the boys thanks."

Osgood turned aside nine of the 12 shots he faced before Conklin

made 10 saves over the final two periods.

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