Datsyuk set up two goals by Filppula with a pair of slick passes as the Detroit Red Wings avenged a loss to Dallas a week earlier with a solid 4-1 victory at Joe Louis Arena.
"Whenever he has the puck, you can always expect it's going to come your way," said Filppula, who hadn't scored before Tuesday. "I've obviously played with him for a while now, but still, every once in a while you get surprised."
The Wings, annually among NHL leaders in fewest fighting majors, took two in the first period, both by Jordin Tootoo. He fought Eric Nystrom three seconds into the game and tangled with Brenden Dillon later in the period.
"I just expected him to get out and forecheck, but he took it upon himself to have a couple bouts," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We don't mind that either, but we'd just as soon he forecheck. He's a guy that gives us a different dimension than we've had, and he's physical out there, and guys know he's out there."
Henrik Zetterberg put the Wings ahead to stay when he scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal with 24 seconds left in the period.
"Against a team like this, that's this hungry on the power play right now, you just can't take [penalties]," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said.
"Today was a good game. Hopefully, we can build on it," Filppula said.
Howard finished with 25 saves. Lehtonen, the star of Dallas' 2-1 win in Detroit last Tuesday, surrendered four goals on 25 shots before being lifted for Richard Backman late in the final period.
It was the first time in Dallas' seven games this season that the margin of victory was more than one goal. They kept it close through two periods but appeared to run out of gas in the third.
"Saw some good things here coming off back-to-back, like the shot clock," Gulutzan said. "See some good things coming."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report.
|Loui Eriksson (3) ASST: Cody Eakin (4), Jaromir Jagr (3)|
1 - 0 DAL
|Valtteri Filppula (1) ASST: Pavel Datsyuk (5)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Henrik Zetterberg (2) ASST: Patrick Eaves (1), Niklas Kronwall (5)|
2 - 1 DET
|Damien Brunner (3) ASST: Johan Franzen (3), Henrik Zetterberg (5)|
3 - 1 DET
|Valtteri Filppula (2) ASST: Pavel Datsyuk (6), Todd Bertuzzi (1)|
4 - 1 DET
|Power Play %||19.0%||23.8%|
|% on Road||23.3%||20.7%|
|% at Home||15.5%||26.6%|
|Eric Nystrom Fighting (maj) against Jordin Tootoo|
|Jordin Tootoo Fighting (maj) against Eric Nystrom|
|Cody Eakin Tripping against Damien Brunner|
|Drew Miller Interference against Cody Eakin|
|Niklas Kronwall Holding against Jamie Benn|
|Brenden Dillon Fighting (maj) against Jordin Tootoo|
|Jordin Tootoo Fighting (maj) against Brenden Dillon|
|Jakub Kindl Tripping against Brenden Morrow|
|Niklas Kronwall Interference against Michael Ryder|
|Tom Wandell Hooking against Kyle Quincey|
|Jamie Benn Hi stick - double minor against Todd Bertuzzi|
|Henrik Zetterberg Tripping against Trevor Daley|
|Ray Whitney Hi-sticking against Brendan Smith|
|Niklas Kronwall Interference against Brenden Morrow|
|Philip Larsen Interference against Damien Brunner|