Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg figured in all three goals on Saturday in Dallas, carrying the Red Wings to a 3-0 over the Stars to clinch the team’s 22nd consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard stopped all 17 shots he faced in shutting out the Stars as the two points the Red Wings earned clinched the Western Conference’s seventh seed and a first-round matchup with the second-seeded Anaheim Ducks.
Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 1:43 remaining in the first period. From the right wing corner, Zetterberg threw an attempted pass to Justin Abdelkader at the top of the crease but it deflected off defenseman Alex Goligoski’s skate and past Dallas netminder Richard Bachman.
At 1:57 of the third period, Zetterberg made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal. Pavel Datsyuk caught up to a loose puck on the left wing in the Detroit zone and sprung Zetterberg on a breakaway with a pass at the blue line. Zetterberg backhanded a shot past Bachman for his second goal of the night.
With a wrister from the high slot, Jonathan Ericsson rounded out the scoring at 6:30 of the third after Zetterberg and Datsyuk won a puck battle along the left wing boards.
Bachman finished the night with 34 saves on 37 shots.
Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker to Dallas’ three.
The Red Wings’ 22-season playoff streak is the longest active run in the NHL. Seventh place in the conference is the team’s lowest finish in that stretch.