First a few fun facts:
Dallas stopped a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 win at Joe Louis Arena.
The Stars finished the season series against Detroit 3-1-0 and are now 9-3-0 over the past three seasons against the Red Wings. (Kinda makes you wish for a No. 7 vs. No. 2 first round playoff series, eh?)
The Stars stopped a seven-game road losing streak and avoided tying the franchise record of eight consecutive losses, set in 1975 and tied in 1988.
Krys Barch picked up his second goal of the season, and Alex Goligoski picked up his first point as a Star (assist on Jamie Langenbrunner's empty-netter.
And the Stars collected their 700th overall win since moving to Dallas. They trail only Detroit (802) and New Jersey (733) in wins in that era. (Kinda makes you appreciate how spoiled we have been).
So how did the Stars do it? Quick start, high energy, good goaltending. They killed five of six power plays off against. They scored short-handed. They had four different players scoring goals (Ribeiro, Eriksson, Barch and Langenbrunner).
"It was a real solid effort for us," coach Marc Crawford said. "We had good spirit in the group. I think the return of Burish and Barch helped bring up the enthusiasm of our guys. We were sharp tonight. We did a lot of good things, and played with the proper amount of aggression up front. It was such a desperate win for us, and now it puts us back in a playoff position. We have to keep rolling out performances like this."
The Stars are back in the top eight in the West, but does it really matter until the last game of the season? Win now, and they are in. Lose, and they are out. It's that simple.
"They're all huge, and I don't think this one means more than the last one, but it's two points at a time," said Brenden Morrow, who had a sweet set-up on the Ribeiro goal. "It's all about just this one game, and our preparation and focus was just on that. A lot of things come with it. You hope you give management some confidence before the trade deadline, and they believe in the group here. There's a lot of things that come with it, but I think once the puck is dropped you're thinking about just winning that game."
Detroit eventually earned a 39-25 edge in shots on goal, but Dallas dominated early, got a 3-0 lead and then backed off and let Detroit shooting from the perimeter.
"We kept them to the outside, and I think that helped a lot," Ribeiro said. "Special teams were big tonight. They had a lot of power plays that could have turned the game around, but we killed them. Once again, our goalie was outstanding, and we scored on our chances. But if we play well defensively, we'll give ourselves a chance to win. We're not going to score five or six goals a game, it's the tight games that we are going to win."
One of the fun moments came when Barch pushed a shot on goal and had it come right back at him. He then flipped a knuckler through a crowd and into the net for a 3-0 lead.
"I was a buck-thirty into my shift and my shifts usually run 30 seconds,'' Barch said. ``I was looking for an oxygen tank. Everything just happened subconsciously. I think I always dump the puck at the blue line. It was a lucky bounce, ended up on my stick, got a second opportunity and it found the back of the net."
Ribeiro joked it was a season highlight for the team.
"That goal by Barchy, a slow-motion goal, was a big one for us," Ribeiro said. "I thought he was skating backwards there for a minute. We'll take those goals."