Stars season finale: Red Wings clinch playoff spot with win

Stars vs. Red Wings

Credit: Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings celebrate a goal by Henrik Zetterberg in the third period against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on April 27, 2013. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on April 27, 2013 at 9:45 PM

DALLAS (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings are headed to the playoffs for the 22nd straight season after Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and an assist in a 3-0 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Jimmy Howard made 17 saves to post his fifth shutout of the season as Detroit secured the seventh spot in the Western Conference. It's the lowest playoff seed for the Red Wings since the NHL moved to the 1 vs. 8 conference format in 1993.

Jonathan Ericsson also scored and Pavel Datsyuk had three assists for the Red Wings, who own the longest active playoff streak in major professional sports, six years longer than the NBA's San Antonio Spurs' stretch of postseason play.

Detroit closed out the regular season with four consecutive wins by a combined score of 15-3. It will face second-seeded Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs

Richard Bachman made 34 saves for Dallas, which dropped its fifth consecutive game. It was eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday for the fifth straight season, the longest drought in franchise history.

Despite trailing the Wings in shots on goal by a 26-13 margin, Dallas trailed just 1-0 at the start of the final period and went on the power play, but Zetterberg converted a short-handed goal to make it 2-0 at 1:57.

A nice lead pass from Datsyuk sent Zetterberg in on a breakaway and, after making a slick move to his backhand, he slipped it between Bachman's pads for his 11th goal of the season.

Ericsson added his third of the year at 6:30, when his wrist shot from the high slot beat a screened Bachman just inside the right post.

Howard made perhaps his best save of the night with 7:41 remaining when he stopped Antoine Roussel after he raced in on a short-handed breakaway.

Zetterberg put Detroit in front with 1:43 left in the opening period. After battling Brenden Dillon for the puck in the right corner, Zetterberg slid a pass into the crease that ricocheted off the skate of Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski between Bachman's pads and in.

NOTES: Red Wings C Johan Franzen did not record a point, after totaling four goals and an assist in the previous three games. ... Dallas had a chance to post a winning record for the 17th straight season, needing just one point to keep that streak going. ... Dallas honored current players LW Loui Eriksson and C Jamie Benn for being part of its 20th anniversary team.

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