Henrik Zetterberg and Dallas Drake each scored one goal and assisted on another to spark the Detroit Red Wings into the National Hockey League finals on Monday with a 4-1 victory over Dallas.
The Red Wings won the best-of-seven Western Conference final four games to two and will face the Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup championship series.
“This is why we’re moving on. It’s a total team effort,” Draper said. “We know we’re going to do that. We need some secondary scoring. Give all credit to Dallas and everything they threw at us. Now we’re moving on to the big one.”
The finals begin on Saturday in Detroit. The finalists did not meet in the regular season.
Kris Draper gave Detroit a 1-0 lead just 3:46 into the game off a pass from Drake and Pavel Datsyuk added his ninth goal of the playoffs on a power play with an assist from Zetterberg 7:55 later to give the Red Wings a 2-0 edge.
“Losing two games in a row, they had the momentum going into their building and their fans were really into it early on in the game — and I thought we took it out of them right away,” Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom said.
“With the first few shifts, we were coming after them hard and getting the puck to the net.”
Drake put the Red Wings ahead 3-0 with his first post-season goal just 3:43 before the end of the first period.
Zetterberg boosted the Red Wings to a 4-0 edge with a shorthanded goal 3:11 into the second period, his 11th goal of the playoffs coming unassisted.
Needing a victory to force a seventh game, the Stars fought back, finally getting on the scoreboard on a power play goal by Stephane Robidas 2:27 into the third period.
But Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood was equal to the challenge, frustrating Dallas to the finish, even after the Stars pulled netminder Marty Turco for an extra attacker over the final 2:35.
Osgood made 28 saves, 15 of them in the final period to keep the Stars at bay and win his 48th playoff game, moving past Hall of Famer Tarry Sawchuk for the all-time Red Wings playoff win lead and improving to 10-2 in the playoffs.
“We’re just going to regroup, relax and enjoy it for now until we’re ready to go again,” Osgood said.