DETROIT -- A couple of goals should make Valtteri Filppula's knee feel a little better.
Filppula got his first two goals of the season and Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Filppula, who had a breakout year last season with 23 goals and 66 points, is coming back from a sprained right knee suffered early in the season while playing in his native Finland with Jokerit Helsinki during the lockout.
"It's OK. Obviously it's been a lot of games so between games it hasn't been too much time to rest," Filppula said. "I've had to take practice days off and that's not always the best thing but so far, I'm happy that I've been able to play all the games. Hopefully the knee starts feeling better as well."
Damien Brunner also scored for Detroit (3-2-1). Pavel Datsyuk had two assists and Jimmy Howard made 25 saves.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock talked about how important Filppula is to the team.
"Fil's a huge talent for us and we need him to be a high end scorer for us," Babcock said. "He hasn't been practicing. He's got a few bumps and bruised, but he found a way to play here today and he helped our team find a way to win."
Detroit also killed off all five Stars' power plays, including 39 seconds of a two-man disadvantage in the first period.
"It's good. Tonight was a lot better. We got to take baby steps," Howard said. "PK is all about details and staying with your structure and outworking the power play. We did that tonight.''
Loui Eriksson got Dallas' lone goal and Kari Lehtonen stopped 19 shots before he was pulled in the third period. Richard Backman made four saves. The Stars are 2-4-1.
The Red Wings scored twice in the final seven minutes of the second period to take a 2-1 lead.
Filppula's first goal of the season tied it with 6:46 left in the middle period. He scored on a one-timer from the slot, converting Datsyuk's pass. Datsyuk stole the puck from Jordie Benn behind the Stars' net.
Zetterberg's power-play goal with 23.8 seconds left in the second period gave Detroit the lead. His one-time slap shot from the top of the left circle was Zetterberg's second goal of the season.
"It was tough when they tied it and got the 2-1 lead in the second," Eriksson said.
Brunner and Filppula scored 23 seconds apart in the third period to make it 4-1. Brunner tipped in Johan Franzen's shot 6:15 into the third period for his third goal and Filppula's second of the game came off another set up by Datsyuk as Filppula put in a one-time shot from the bottom of the right circle.
"It feels definitely good to score," Filppula said. "Really nice plays by Pav and Bert (Todd Bertuzzi) as well, so it was nice to get those goals."
Eriksson opened the scoring with 9:38 left in the second period when he converted Cody Eakin's rebound for Eriksson's third goal.
Bertuzzi took an accidental stick in the right eye area from Dallas' Jamie Benn with a little less than four minutes left in the second period. Bertuzzi went to the Red Wings dressing room immediately and Benn got a double minor for high sticking with 3:41 remaining in the middle period.
Bertuzzi returned to start the third period.
The first period was scoreless, thanks to the work of both goalies.
Lehtonen stopped Justin Abdelkader from in front of the crease on a rebound a little more than five minutes into the game and stopped Henrik Zetterberg's slap shot from the high slot and Johan Franzen's rebound try off that shot in a goal-mouth scramble.
And on the following rush at the other end, Howard made a pad save on Eriksson's short breakaway.
NOTES: Detroit's Jordin Tootoo and Dallas' Eric Nystrom fought three seconds into the game. Tootoo also fought Brendan Dillon with 3:49 remaining in the first period.
"I feel great. Let's get after it again. I still had one more fight in me," Tootoo said after the game. "I mean, it is what it is, but it is all part of the game. For me I don't mind doing that part." ... The Stars were without forward Derek Roy, who was placed on injured reserve Monday, for the third straight game because of a groin injury. ... Detroit center Darren Helm missed his second consecutive game with a sore back and goalie Jonas Gustavsson remained out with a sore groin. ... Red Wings' rookie defenseman Brian Lashoff was a healthy scratch. He was replaced by Jakub Kindl because coach Mike Babcock wanted Kindl's skating and puck-moving skills to help a struggling power play (2-for-26, 28th in the NHL coming into the game).