DETROIT – Johan Franzen usually blends in behind the Detroit Red Wings’ other stars.
Unless it’s the playoffs.
Franzen scored his seventh goal of the postseason, helping Detroit beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 Sunday.
The defending Stanley Cup champions’ dominating performance gave them a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.
Franzen led the way as he did during the playoffs last year and again the past few weeks.
His 20 goals since the start of last year’s title run are the most in a 25-game postseason span since Theo Fleury had a similar outburst a decade ago, according to STATS LLC.
“Maybe I’m a little bit surprised,” he said of his postseason output.
Game 6 will be Tuesday night at Anaheim.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said his team didn’t play desperately Sunday, adding that has to change to shift the series back to Detroit for Game 7.
“We just have to get emotionally involved in the game right from the drop of the puck,” Carlyle said.
The Ducks also will have to physically engage the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Franzen, whose nickname is Mule.
“He’s a big guy,” Carlyle said. “He’s probably not even filled out to his full size. The difference in his size in between this year and last year is quite noticeable.
Bruins stay alive
BOSTON – Tim Thomas stopped 19 shots for his first NHL playoff shutout, helping Boston keep its season going by beating Carolina in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Phil Kessel scored twice and Zdeno Chara gave the Bruins a big emotional lift when he returned in the third period after leaving the ice in the second when he was slashed by Jussi Jokinen. Chara and Marc Savard each had a pair of assists for top-seeded Boston, which had lost three straight playoff games.
Cam Ward made 36 saves for the Hurricanes, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2. Game 6 is at Carolina on Tuesday.
Eric Staal, who had four goals in the previous three games, had three shots in Game 5 and was minus-3.