The Detroit Red Wings advanced to the Stanley Cup finals with a 4-1 road win over the Dallas Stars in Game Six of the Western Conference championship series.
|Nicklas Lidstrom, left, with the Clarence S. Campbell |
Bowl and Bill Daly of the NHL [AFP]
Detroit, who will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the best-of-seven finals, got goals from Kris Draper, Pavel Datsyuk, Dallas Drake and Henrik Zetterberg, while Stephane Robidas scored for the Stars.
The Wings, who won the President's Trophy as the league's top team in the regular season, will be looking for their fourth title in the last 11 seasons after last lifting the Stanley Cup in 2002.
"We're back in the Stanley Cup and it sounds great for us," Detroit veteran Draper told reporters as his team had sealed the series by a 4-2 margin after suffering two straight losses.
"I never get tired of playing hockey at this time of year.
"We have a lot of great veterans on this team and we weren't going to panic just because we lost a few games."
Chris Osgood made 28 saves for the Wings, who took a 4-0 lead into the third period after three first-period goals deflated the Stars and their home crowd.
"That great start really helped us," Osgood, who replaced Dominik Hasek as the Wings starting goalie early in the post-season, said.
"It really takes the pressure off to start like that."
It was a milestone win for Osgood, as his 48th career playoff victory for the Red Wings broke the franchise record held by Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuck.
"That was something that I wanted, one of my goals among others," Osgood said.
"It was a special night."
Marty Turco, whose sensational play in Game Five in Detroit kept the series alive, made 25 saves but felt his team missed a rare opportunity to get to the finals.
"It really hurts to think of what we could have done," Turco said.
"It's the ultimate disappointment of letting guys down."
The Stanley Cup finals open up in Detroit on Saturday and Monday, and it will mark the first time Detroit and Pittsburgh have met in the championship round.