Pavel Datsyuk‘s first career hat trick helped carry the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars Monday night, giving Detroit a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals matchup and putting them one win from their fifth Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 1995.
Clutch goals by Jiri Hudler and Henrik Zetterberg completed the scoring for the Red Wings, who were without leading goal-scorer Johan Franzen for the second game in a row.
Datsyuk’s first goal of the game got the scoring started at 9:27 of the first period.
With the teams skating four-on-four, the Red Wings broke into the Dallas zone on a three-on-two rush. Brian Rafalski helped draw a defender so Zetterberg could send a pass across to Datsyuk. Datsyuk cut to the middle and went to the backhand, whipping a shot off the post and in behind Stars goalie Marty Turco.
Dallas would capitalize on a long shift with heavy pressure in the Detroit zone five minutes later.
Trapped in their own end and scrambling, the Wings couldn’t prevent Mike Modano from sending a pass from low in the corner out to Nicklas Grossman for a one-timer past Chris Osgood, tying the game with 4:47 remaining in the period.
Datsyuk put Detroit back out in front just 37 seconds later from the top of the crease, tipping a centering attempt by Tomas Holmstrom between Turco’s pads for his second of the night.
A lucky bounce pulled the Stars back into a tie with a Brad Richards shot from down low bouncing off of defenseman Brad Stuart and past Osgood at 3:47 of the second period.
With 8:06 left in the period, Hudler’s breakaway goal put Detroit back in front. A stretch pass by Niklas Kronwall left Hudler all alone with Turco before he put a backhander over the goalie’s shoulder.
Zetterberg scored shorthanded just 1:38 into the third period, turning Richards – a forward covering the point on the power play – inside-out on a rush into the Dallas zone, then outwaiting Turco to throw a shot into the net.
With 2:41 left in the game, Datsyuk completed his hat trick. Zetterberg went into a group of four Stars and came out with the puck, sending a cross-ice pass to Datsyuk in the slot for a one-timer past Turco.
Osgood stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced on the night. Turco made 16 saves on 21 shots against.
Neither team scored a power play goal. The Red Wings had two chances with the extra attacker and the Stars had six.
Detroit will look to close out the series in Game Four on Wednesday.
The Stars were without Jere Lehtinen
, Stu Barnes and Philippe Boucher.