DALLAS -- In a game that Detroit had to win to secure a trip to the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs for a 22nd straight year, Henrik Zetterberg scored twice and added an assist and Jimmy Howard stopped all 17 shots he faced for his fifth shutout of the season as the Red Wings beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 before a sellout crowd of 18,532 at American Airlines Center.
Zetterberg's first goal of the night, his 10th of the season, came with 1:43 left in the first period when a backhand pass deflected off the skate of Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski and landed in the back of the Dallas net to make it 1-0.
The Red Wings captain then added a second goal, his 11th of the season, 1:57 into the third period. With Detroit short-handed, Zetterberg flipped a 14-foot backhand through the five-hole of Dallas backup goaltender Richard Bachman. The Stars were on the power play after Detroit's Brendan Smith earned a double-minor for roughing at the end of the second period.
Detroit then went ahead 3-0 at 6:30 of the third period when Jonathan Ericsson blistered a 33-foot wrister that Bachman never saw for his third goal of the season, with Datsyuk and Zetterberg assisting.
Pavel Datsyuk assisted on all three Detroit goals. Howard's shutout was the 15th of his career.
Detroit, which last missed the playoffs in the 1989-90 season, will be the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and faces Anaheim in a first-round, best-of-seven series that likely will start Tuesday.
Dallas has now missed the playoffs in five consecutive seasons, with the Stars' last postseason appearance coming in the 2007-08 season when they fell in the Western Conference Finals to Detroit in six games.
The Stars finished with a five-game losing streak for the second straight season and the loss also ends a Dallas streak of 15 consecutive winning seasons.
After a penalty-free first period, the penalty box was regularly occupied in the second. Dallas center Jamie Benn, a 2012 All-Star, drew the game's first penalty at 9:44 of the second after Detroit's Niklas Kronwall was deemed guilty of holding.
However, the power play lasted all of 16 seconds as Dallas' Erik Cole was whistled for interference after taking down Smith in the left faceoff circle at 10:10.
Benn drew a second penalty in the period at 11:37 when Smith received a minor for interference to put Dallas on the power play for a second time in the period.
With 4:59 remaining before the second intermission, Dallas winger Ryan Garbutt received a double-minor for high sticking after drawing blood to the face of Detroit's Joakim Andersson. However, the Stars were able to kill off the four-minute power play and keep it a one-goal game.
At the end of the second period, Smith received a double-minor for roughing after he and Dallas center Vernon Fiddler were involved in a confrontation on the Detroit end of the ice. Smith had taken exception to Fiddler taking down teammate Kyle Quincey and was hit with a penalty for retaliating.
Bachman stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced.
NOTES: Four Detroit players -- wingers Justin Abdelkader and Daniel Cleary, center Cory Emmerton and Kronwall -- played all 48 games of the regular season. ... Dallas had five players -- rookie defenseman Brenden Dillon, center Cody Eakin, wingers Loui Eriksson and Eric Nystrom and defenseman Stephane Robidas -- skate in all 48 games this season. ... Before the game, Dallas honored Benn and Loui Eriksson for being named to the Stars' 20th Anniversary Team, a group determined by a fan vote. ... The goal by Zetterberg late in the first period was his first in five games and just his second goal in his last 15 games. ... Howard started his 15th consecutive and 42nd game overall.