DALLAS – The Detroit Red Wings make the second stop of a brutal six-game road trip when they visit to the Dallas Stars on Saturday. The Red Wings, who are chasing Montreal and Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division, halted a three-game skid (0-2-1) with a 3-2 shootout victory at Chicago on Wednesday.
"It's huge," netminder Jimmy Howard said. "Now we can enjoy it for a couple days and get ready for Dallas because this road trip is going to get a lot harder."
Looming ahead for Detroit are matchups against Pacific Division foes Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose before it winds up the trek at Central Division-leading Nashville. The Stars, on the other hand, are sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference but are within six points of the final playoff slot. Dallas has dropped two of three since losing leading scorer Tyler Seguin and two other forwards to injury, but Ales Hemsky is expected to return to the lineup Saturday.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (32-14-10): Howard had a rocky first start after missing more than a month with a groin injury, but he permitted one goal in a loss to Montreal before making 32 saves versus the Blackhawks to earn his first shootout win in eight decisions this season.
"It feels good," said Howard, who went nearly a year without winning in the bonus format. "Long time coming and it feels extra special against a group that's so good and talented out there."
Darren Helm had a goal and an assist versus Chicago - his third two-point performance in the last five.
ABOUT THE STARS (27-23-8): With Dallas already dealing with depth issues at forward due to the spate of injuries, Ryan Garbutt drew the ire of coach Lindy Ruff for an elbowing penalty Thursday that earned him a benching.
"That can't happen, it just can't happen this time of the year, it can't," Ruff said of Garbutt, who already has been suspended twice this season. "He didn't hurt himself, he hurt 19 teammates."
Captain Jamie Benn has been on a tear during a five-game point streak, scoring six goals to go along with three assists.
1. Detroit has won five in a row at Dallas and eight of 10 overall in the series.
2. Stars G Kari Lehtonen was replaced by Jhonas Enroth on Thursday, but each has struggled against Detroit with respective goals-against averages of 3.19 and 3.48.
3. Howard is 4-0-1 in his last five starts versus Dallas.