Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings got the best retaliation against Mike Ribeiro and the Dallas Stars -- a record-setting victory.
Datsyuk scored twice in the first period then again with 2:41 left, as the Red Wings beat the Stars 5-2 on Monday to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
This was Detroit's ninth straight win, its most ever in a single postseason and the longest in the NHL since Montreal won 11 in a row in 1993. More importantly, the Red Wings will go into Game 4 tonight with the chance to skate into the Stanley Cup finals for the fourth time in 11 seasons.
Datsyuk's first career hat trick overshadowed important goals by his teammates. Jiri Hudler converted a breakaway in the second period and Henrik Zetterberg scored a short-handed goal early in the third period for a daunting two-goal lead. Zetterberg also had the primary assist on two of Datsyuk's goals.
As promised, Detroit players came out more focused on the scoreboard than settling a score with Ribeiro for his two-handed baseball swing of his stick into the chest of Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood as Game 2 ended. Ribeiro was ticked off that Osgood popped him in the chops with the handle of his stick. The league fined both players, but neither was suspended.