Alex Auld makes 31 saves to help Dallas Stars beat Detroit Red Wings 3-1

DETROIT – The Dallas Stars weren’t spectacular, just effective.

Alex Auld made 31 saves, and Mike Ribeiro, Matt Niskanen and Loui Eriksson scored in Dallas’ 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night. Brad Richards and James Neal each had two assists for the Stars. “We played our best game, from start to finish,” Auld said.

The Stars scored two power-play goals and killed off all four Red Wings power plays.

“We were good where we had to be on the power play and killing penalties,” Dallas coach Marc Crawford said.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit, and Jimmy Howard stopped 29 shots. The loss snapped the Red Wings’ winning streak at three.

Niskanen gave the Stars a 2-0 lead 3:52 into the second period with his first goal of the season. He beat Howard with a one-timer from the point.

Zetterberg put Detroit on the board 6:16 into the middle period with his ninth goal. He cut into the slot from the right wing and beat Auld high on the sick side.

Eriksson’s power-play goal with 7:17 left gave the Stars a 3-1 lead. He tipped in a cross-crease pass.

That came less than a minute after it appeared the Red Wings had tied it 2-2.

An apparent goal by Brad May, 6:24 into the third period, was waved off because it was ruled the whistle had blown. Replays showed May’s backhander from the bottom of the right circle squeezed between Auld’s skate and the short-side goal post. There wasn’t an immediate reaction, but the Red Wings’ celebrated a few seconds later.

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The play was reviewed but the ruling by referees Stephane Auger and Dennis LaRue was no goal because the whistle had blown.

“It wasn’t blown dead. It was a goal,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “The guy never meant to blow the whistle. It was a shot.”

Auld, obviously, didn’t agree.

“They’ve got enough cameras in the building. If they say it’s not a goal, it’s not a goal,” he said. “I think the biggest thing was the intent of the official to blow the whistle.”

May talked about what he saw.

“After I shot it, I didn’t see it go in,” he said. “But (Auld) was trying to pick his foot up and it was in the net. I just saw a highlight of it and have no idea why it wasn’t a goal.”

Ribeiro opened the scoring on a power play 9:26 into the game. His attempted pass was accidentally swatted into the net by Detroit defenceman Jonathan Ericsson, who sprawled along the ice to thwart a pass. It was Ribeiro’s sixth goal.

NOTES: Detroit G Chris Osgood missed his third game because of the flu. … Dallas LW Fabian Brunnstrom missed his third game due to a shoulder injury. … Stars’ C Brian Sutherby missed his second game with a groin injury. … May and the Stars’ Krystofer Barch fought in the second period after having a good-natured conversation during pre-game warmups.