DETROIT – Kari Lehtonen snapped the Dallas Stars out of their slump.
Lehtonen stopped 38 shots to lead Dallas past the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Thursday night.
Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson, Krystofer Barch and Jamie Langenbrunner had the goals for Dallas, which had lost five straight.
“I think that’s desperate hockey for us,” Barch said.
The Stars had lost five straight and were in a 2-10-1 slump, falling from one of the top spots in the Western Conference to a tie for last place in the Pacific Division entering the game.
“I think a win like this can give us the boost we need,” Ribeiro said.
Tomas Holmstrom scored a power-play goal with 3:31 left, allowing the Red Wings to avoid getting shut out for the third time this month.
That wasn’t much consolation for Detroit.
The Central Division-leading Red Wings have lost consecutive games, both at home, after winning five straight.
Detroit has been uncharacteristically bad at Joe Louis Arena lately, going 7-9-2 since early December.
“You can’t have success unless you’re dominant at home,” coach Mike Babcock said. “If I could explain it, I’d straighten it out.”
Detroit starts a five-game road trip Saturday at Buffalo before going across the country to play three games in California and one at Phoenix.
“Maybe we’re fortunate, going on the road,” Babcock said. “Maybe we can get our act together.”
Detroit’s Jimmy Howard had 21 saves.
The Red Wings had a goal by Brian Rafalski waived off because Holmstrom backed into Lehtonen outside the crease.
“I thought it should’ve been a goal,” Babcock said. “But I don’t think you can point fingers at anything but ourselves.”
The Stars got a boost from the return of Barch and Adam Burish after both missed the previous eight games with facial injuries.
“It was great to have them back because they’re the leaders in this room,” Ribeiro said.
The Red Wings had a lacklustre start and the Stars took advantage, scoring twice late in the first—including Eriksson’s short-handed goal with 23 seconds left in the period—and took a 3-0 lead midway through the game.
After Holmstrom scored late in the third, Detroit pulled Howard for an extra skater and Langenbrunner had an empty-net goal for the Stars.
“They were more desperate than we were,” Red Wings defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom said.
Dallas, which has won four of its past six games in Detroit, won the season series 3-1 against the Red Wings.
“You always want to take down the best,” Barch said.
NOTES—Dallas scratched D Nicklas Grossman (hip) and C Brad Richards (concussion). … The Red Wings expect to have Mike Modano (wrist) back Saturday against the Sabres and hope Valtteri Filppula (left knee) can return in that game. … Eriksson had two goals and five points in the previous three games against Detroit this season. … The Red Wings honoured Todd Bertuzzi for playing in his 1,000th game earlier this month, giving him a Rolex watch. … Dallas is 24-3-2 when scoring first this season and 19-1-1 when leading after the first.