DETROIT — Everything was going Detroit's way. Then, the Red Wings slacked off and it almost cost them.
Nicklas Lidstrom had two goals and an assist as the Red Wings hung on for a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Friday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
"You get caught up watching the scoreboard," Detroit Coach Scotty Bowman said. "We dodged a bullet tonight. That's how I feel, and I'm sure that's how the team will feel."
Detroit blasted its way to a four-goal lead, but the Stars charged back with three consecutive goals, one in the second period and two in the third.
"When you sit back like we did in the second and third period, you can't expect to win very many," Detroit forward Darren McCarty said. "We got lucky tonight."
Brent Gilchrist, Jamie Macoun and Martin Lapointe also scored for the Red Wings, who took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Jere Lehtinen scored twice and Mike Modano, breaking an eight-game scoring slump, made it a one-goal game late in the third period for the Stars.
The Stars, who are 1-15-2 at Joe Louis Arena since the franchise moved from Minneapolis, had gone an NHL-record 10 games in a row without giving up more than two goals until the assault by the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Game 4 will be played Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.