DETROIT - Johan Franzen, Brian Rafalski, and Tomas Holmstrom scored power-play goals for the Detroit Red Wings, who built a big lead in the second period and coasted to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals last night.
"Our starts have been great, and we've played well after that," goalie Chris Osgood said.
After Valtteri Filppula put the top-seeded Red Wings ahead, 4-0, Brenden Morrow scored with a minute left in the second period to prevent the fifth-seeded Stars from getting shut out.
"We had a good two or three shifts to start the game," Morrow said. "But then the ice got tilted the other way."
Game 2 is tomorrow night at Joe Louis Arena, where Stars goalie Marty Turco is 0-8-2 in his NHL career.
"There's no question by the next game, they'll be back and rolling," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
Turco made 27 saves, and Osgood turned away 20 shots.
Dallas upset the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in the first round and then topped the second-seeded San Jose Sharks after starting both series with two road wins.
The way the Red Wings are playing - winning seven straight - they're going to be tough to beat in any rink.
"I'm not worried about how the Red Wings played. I'm worried about how we played," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "That's a game that wasn't even close to the games we played in the playoffs."
Franzen's 12th goal extended his team postseason scoring record, and the player known as Mule matched another club mark by finding the net for a fifth straight game.
Gordie Howe pulled off the feat in 1949 and '64. Ted Lindsay scored in five consecutive games in 1952.
Franzen has 15 points in the playoffs, tying Jaromir Jagr of the already eliminated New York Rangers.
The Red Wings were so dominant in the first two periods, it looked as though they had a man advantage in even-strength situations. They also created scoring chances while killing penalties.
"It looked like we lacked a little emotion or jump we had in the other series," Turco said.
With Detroit enjoying a two-man advantage, Rafalski scored 4:28 into the game after a shot by Nicklas Lidstrom caromed off the post directly to him between the circles.
"We hung him out to dry with the 5-on-3 early in the game," Morrow said.
Franzen and Holmstrom both scored by standing in front and redirecting shots past Turco, who was serenaded with "Turrr-co! Turrr-co!" by fans all game.