Detroit's power play leads to game #1 win
Stars shoot themselves in the foot as Detroit take 1-0 series lead
The Red Wings’ have now won 7 playoff games in a row after beating the Dallas Stars 4-1 in Game #1 of the Western Conference final. Detroit’s power play was on fire, scoring 3 times on 7 opportunities and getting all 4 goals from different players. Dallas was not in this game for a single second, leaving Marty Turco still winless in Joe Louis Arena.
Brian Rafalski scored the first goal of the game on the PP at the 4:28 mark of the opening frame that was assisted by Tomas Holmstrom and Captain Nicklas Lidstrom. You would think that the Stars would contemplate not taking any more penalties by this point, but the Wings capitalized again with the man advantage. "The Mule," Johan Franzen deflected a Niklas Kronwall shot at the 15:38 point of the first period, giving the Wings a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
The second period started off by Mike Ribeiro taking a hooking penalty that led to a Tomas Holmstrom goal at the 6:40 mark, again on the PP. By this point, the series looked to be over, unless Dallas stayed out of the box. Finally less than 10 minutes later, Valtteri Filppula scored the games first even strength goal, assisted by Mikael Samuelsson and Kronwall.
Brenden Morrow did score a charity goal on Osgood at the 18:53 mark of the second period that gave false hope to Dallas. The Wings held off the Stars in the third to take the game 4-1 in a convincing fashion. Dallas was never at all in this game.
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This win gives Detroit a 1-0 series lead with great confidence showing the Stars the danger of taking penalties. At this pace, the 2 wins I gave Dallas in my Western Conference preview, will not happen.
Here are the key factors in this series as stated in our 2008 Western Conference finals preview:
Marty Turco is now 0-8-2 in Detroit after Thursday night’s game. Holmstrom and Franzen both made it hard for him to see the puck on Dallas’ penalty kill. He made 27 saves on 31 shots which is not good enough against the mighty Red Wings. Since 3 of the goals Turco allowed were on the PP it could be argued that his team let him down. For Osgood, it was just another day in the office. He only faced 21 shots, but 2 of them were beauties.
Speed kills and Detroit is fast. Their pace caused for a lot of the penalties Dallas took, that led to the game being over before it started. Actually, the Red Wings also out grinded the Stars and kept them to very minimal scoring chances.
Franzen scored a PP goal that turned out to be the game-winner. Ribeiro did not record a point or a shot on net, but his penalty in the second period did lead to a Detroit PP goal. If it was not for his name being called for his penalty, I would not have known he was even at the game.
All three of the factors were all won by Detroit, which showed on the scoreboard.
The Red Wings host Game #2 at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, where Marty Turco has yet to win.
Detroit leads series 1-0.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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