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Red Wings go for commanding 3-0 lead

by Adam Schwartz

Henrik Zetterberg and the Detroit Red Wings look to keep Brad Richards and the Dallas Stars in check for a third-straight time in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals tonight at the American Airlines
The Western Conference Finals shift to Dallas on Monday night when the Detroit Red Wings look to take a 3-0 stranglehold on the series.

The Red Wings, who have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs, are 7-0 at the Joe Louis Arena, but they were 3-2 on the road in their first two series.

Dallas has won four of their last five home games and will look to cut Detroit's series lead in half.

Here's what to keep an eye out for:

* Detroit, which has eight players who have won the Stanley Cup multiple times, has the best road power play of the four teams remaining with a 25-percent success rate. The Red Wings, who have made five of the last 11 Western Conference Finals, have scored 25 five-on-five goals.

* Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who has won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman in five of the last six seasons, has six assists and a plus-5 rating in his last five games. Lidstrom, who holds the franchise record with 204 playoff games played, has seven assists in six combined regular-season and playoff games against the Stars this season.

* Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronvall, who had eight assists in his first eight playoff games this season, has assists in just one of his past four games. Kronvall, who has 25 hits in the playoffs, is averaging 22:26 of ice time per game.

* Detroit center Darren Helm, who has played more than 10 minutes in just one game during the playoffs, scored his first NHL goal in Game 2 against the Stars while playing just 8:02. Helm, who played just seven regular-season games, has already played eight playoff games for the Red Wings.

* Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, who is one point behind the team lead with 14, leads the team with 27 hits in the playoffs. Datsyuk, who had three goals and two assists in four games against the Stars in the regular season, has one assist in his first two games of this series.

* Red Wings center Kris Draper, who has played 184 playoff games – 182 for Detroit, leads the team with 114 faceoffs won. Draper, who had a point in his first three playoff games this season, has a minus-8 rating in his past 30 playoff games.

* Detroit center Henrik Zetterberg, who is tied for third in the League with 15 points, has six goals and six assists for 12 points in his last seven games. Zetterberg, who has scored the game-winning goal in two Detroit's last four games, has one goal and five assists for six points and a plus-4 rating in six combined regular-season and playoff games against the Stars this season.

* Dallas center Mike Modano, who had four goals and six assists for ten points in 12 games in the first two rounds, has no points and a minus-5 rating in six combined regular season and playoff games against the Red Wings. Modano, who has the franchise record with 170 playoff games played, has not been a plus player in the playoffs since 2004.

* The Stars, which have not scored more than two goals in their last six games, have scored the fewest home goals of the four remaining teams with 14 in six home games. Dallas, which has averaged just 28.5 shots per game in the playoffs, has allowed 27.8 shots against per game in the playoffs.

* Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley, who had a career-high of 24 points during the regular season, has no points in 14 playoff games. Daley, who lists his favorite athlete as basketball player Shaquille O'Neal, has just one goal and no assists in 25 career playoff games.

* Stars left wing Niklas Hagman, who had a career-high of 27 goals and 41 points this season, has two goals and no assists in 14 playoff games. Hagman, who averaged 15:35 of ice time per game during the regular season, is averaging just 13:07 in the playoffs and has played more than 13 minutes in just one game in the playoffs – Game 6 against the San Jose Sharks that went into four overtimes.

* Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas, selected No. 164 overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, leads the team and is tied for second in the League among defensemen with nine playoff points. Robidas, who never had more than two points in one playoff season prior to this season, had a career-high of 26 points during the regular season. 

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