|The Detroit Red Wings are flying [AFP]|
Darren Helm and Henrik Zetterberg scored first-period goals to help make up for the loss of Johan Franzen and the Detroit Red Wings held on for a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Stephane Robidas tied it at 1 midway through the first period, but the Stars struggled to get shots to or past Chris Osgood.
Dallas’ Marty Turco made 32 saves, but the former University of Michigan star fell to 0-9-2 in the NHL at Joe Louis Arena.
Osgood needed to stop just 17 shots, improving to 8-0 as a starter in the playoffs this season.
Game 3 is Monday night in Dallas.
The game at Joe Louis Arena ended in ugly fashion as Osgood seemed to use the handle of his stick to poke Dallas’ Mike Ribiero when he skating past the net.
Ribeiro then slashed Osgood across the chest from behind the net.
Following some scuffling, Ribeiro was called for a match penalty.
The Mule ruled out
The Red Wings had a setback before the game, announcing Franzen was scratched from the lineup and would miss the following game because of concussion-like symptoms.
He’s had recurring headaches since early in the previous series.
Franzen has scored an NHL-high 27 times since March 2, a 27-game roll that includes a league-high and franchise-record 12 goals in the postseason.
He is the first player to score 12 playoff goals since Rob Brind’Amour for Carolina in 2006.
The player known as Mule matched a team playoff record with a goal in the series-opening win over Dallas, extending his scoring streak to five games.
Gordie Howe pulled off the feat in 1949 and ’64. Ted Lindsay scored in five consecutive games in 1952.
Franzen has 15 points in 11 playoff games, tying Jaromir Jagr of the already-eliminated New York Rangers.
Against a Stars team skating much harder than it did in the series opener, Helm helped Detroit get off to a good start.
The fourth-line center sped down the left side of the ice, putting himself in perfect position to score off Jiri Hudler’s cross-ice pass.
Helm scored his first goal nearly two months after his NHL debut.
Robidas caught Osgood flat-footed, getting a shot past him to tie the game for the first time in the series at 10:41 of the first period.
Turco and the Stars were too worried about net-front pest Tomas Holmstrom on the go-ahead goal.
After Turco tried to push Holmstrom away and a teammate was engaged with him, Zetterberg blasted a shot into the net as Turco was late getting down and to the left to stop it at 15:13 of the first.
That was all the scoring the Red Wings needed to win their eighth straight game, since the first-round series when they were tied 2-2 with the Nashville Predators and Osgood replaced Dominik Hasek.
Dallas upset the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in the first round and the second-seeded San Jose Sharks after starting both series with two road wins.