The Stanley Cup will go through Detroit--again.
Larry Murphy and Sergei Fedorov scored and Chris Osgood notched his fifth career playoff shutout as the Red Wings defeated the Dallas Stars, 2-0, Friday night before 19,983 at Joe Louis Arena to wrap up the Western Conference title in six games.
The defending Stanley Cup champions advanced to the finals for the third time in four years. Detroit will open the best-of-seven championship series Tuesday night at home against the Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals.
"This is another big step to where we want to be," said forward Darren McCarty, who set up Detroit's first goal. "We're not done, yet. Our mission is not over. Our sights are set higher. Not to downplay what we've done, but we've done this before."
The Stars won the Presidents' Trophy for having the best record in the NHL during the regular season (49-22-11), and had the best road record at 23-14-4. Still, the Red Wings were 2-1-2 against Dallas during the regular season and the Stars now are only 1-17-2 in their 20 visits to Joe Louis Arena since the franchise moved from Minnesota.
"They played well at home and we didn't play well enough," Dallas defenseman Derian Hatcher said. "Everybody's disappointed . . . but there's not a lot you can do about it. We gave it our all.
Yet if any one thing did in Dallas during the conference finals, it probably was the disappearance of its power play. The Stars were only one for 30 with the man advantage during the series, and 0 for 5 in the sixth and deciding game.
And the Red Wings only added to Dallas' frustration by opening the scoring with Murphy's short-handed goal, their second of the series.
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Stanley Cup Finals
Best-of-seven series; all games 5 PDT
* Tuesday: at Detroit (Fox)
* Thursday: at Detroit (ESPN)
* June 13: at Washington (ESPN)
* June 16: at Washington (ESPN)
* June 18: at Detroit--x (Fox)
* June 20: at Washington--x (ESPN)
* June 23: at Detroit--x (Fox)