Detroit coach Mike Babcock is already thinking about how his team needs to play in the postseason.
''All four goals, someone was right in the goalie's face," Babcock said after Detroit's 4-0 win last night in Columbus, Ohio. ''That's what you want and that's what you have to do at playoff time to beat good goalies."
Tomas Holmstrom scored two power-play goals and Chris Osgood stopped 26 shots for his 42d career shutout. Mark Mowers and Mathieu Schneider also scored for the Red Wings, who won their third straight and improved to 5-0 against Columbus this season.
Nicklas Lidstrom, who entered with 22 points in his last 19 games, helped make it 2-0 at 18:09 of the second, seconds after a Wings power play expired. Mowers redirected Lidstrom's point shot past goalie Pascal Leclaire.
''Every time I go out there I try to keep it simple," Mowers said. ''Sometimes someone upstairs is looking out for you and knocks one off your pants and in."
Wild 5, Maple Leafs 3 -- Marc Chouinard had two goals for Minnesota in a much-needed victory over scuffling Toronto in St. Paul.
Kurtis Foster chipped in a power-play score, and slumping Marian Gaborik (one goal in his previous eight games) and Wes Walz also had goals for the Wild, who improved to 17-0-0 in games when they score four or more times.
Thrashers 5, Stars 2 -- Marian Hossa scored twice, including a power-play goal in the final minute of the second period, as Atlanta rallied for its first victory over host Dallas.
Atlanta, which scored three straight goals during a span of 7:38 in the second period, had lost the first eight all-time meetings.