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Datsyuk has two goals and assist in Red Wings' 5-3 win over Stars

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings got back into the post-season and tied an NHL record.

Pavel Datsyuk had two goals and an assist, and Detroit became the first team to secure a playoff spot this season with a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

It was the fifth straight win for the NHL-leading Red Wings, who reached 100 points for a league-record tying eighth straight season. Montreal had 100-point seasons from 1975-82.

"I think you should give our organization a lot of credit for what we've been able to do," captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "Especially with the new salary system where everybody is on an equal playing field."

Johan Franzen had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings and Mikael Samuelsson and Valtteri Filppula also scored. Lidstrom had two assists and Chris Osgood made 16 saves.

Trevor Daley, Jere Lehtinen and Brenden Morrow scored Dallas' goals and Joel Lundqvist had two assists. Marty Turco stopped 26 shots.

Dallas led 3-1 after Morrow's power-play goal with 6:18 left in the second period. It was his 27th of the season.

Then Datsyuk took over. He brought the Red Wings back within one with his 27th, knocking in his own rebound with 3:43 left in the second period.

"A two-goal lead isn't safe," Morrow said. "Anytime we get any hesitation in our game, it's tough to win, especially against Detroit."

Datsyuk tied it at 3 just 36 seconds into the third period when he beat Turco with a slap shot from the inside edge of the right circle.

Samuelsson was credited with the winning goal just 25 seconds later when defenceman Stephane Robidas accidentally knocked in the rebound of Samuelsson's shot.

"The first goal was a bad goal and the second, we didn't check very well," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "Once you give up two quick goals to start a period, it's hard to get the momentum back."

Datsyuk stretched his point streak to eight games. He has seven goals and four assists in that span.

"In the third period, we tried to put (the puck) behind defenceman and play more in the offensive zone," Datsyuk said, "and try to shoot more and be in traffic."

He got rave reviews from Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.

"I thought he was fantastic," Babcock said.

Filppula scored into an empty net with 5 seconds left for his 19th goal.

Lehtinen broke a 1-1 tie 44 seconds into the middle period when he fought off Detroit defenceman Brett Lebda in front of the net to tip in a pass from Lundqvist and score his 13th goal.

Daley opened the scoring just 1:08 in when he beat Osgood with a screened wrist shot from the point.

Franzen tied it with a power-play goal at 7:46 of the first period, tipping Lidstrom's shot from the point out of the air. It was Franzen's 18th goal and sixth in five games. He also has two assists in that span.

Notes: Detroit G Dominik Hasek missed the game because of a sore back. ... Dallas D Matt Niskanen returned after missing a game with a sore foot. ... Red Wings C Kris Draper didn't play because of a groin injury. ... Detroit RW Tomas Holmstrom missed the game because of an abdominal injury. ... Red Wings C Darren Helm made his NHL debut.


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