Tomas Holmstrom scored twice and had an assist, and the Detroit Red Wings took control early on the way to a 5-0 victory last night over the host Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.

Holmstrom, who scored a goal in each of the first two periods, left the ice with a bloody forehead after he was slammed into the glass by Anaheim's Rob Niedermayer and Chris Pronger during the second period.

Holmstrom took stitches to close two cuts and returned to the game for the start of the third period.

Niedermayer, who caught Holmstrom on the left side, was given a major penalty for boarding and ejected from the game in which the Ducks trailed, 4-0. Pronger, who wasn't penalized, hit Holmstrom from the right, sending the right winger's helmet flying off his head in the Anaheim zone.

Holmstrom lay flat on the ice for several minutes before being helped to the dressing room by Red Wings trainers.

Dominik Hasek made 29 saves, and the Red Wings scored three times on 12 shots against Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and regain home-ice advantage.

Game 4 is tomorrow night in Anaheim.

Hasek, 42, logged his second shutout of this year's playoffs and the 14th of his career. He had eight during this regular season to run his total to 76, so he has a combined 90 in regular season and postseason play.


* The Buffalo Sabres will try to stave off elimination when they play Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals tonight at Ottawa.

The Senators will be trying to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time.

"We could curl up and cry about it and go home," Sabres co-captain Chris Drury said. "Or we could fight like dogs."

Drury was clearly preparing for a tussle, energetic and determined in practice a day after Monday's 1-0 loss.

"There's no other way to think about it," Drury added. "We can't save anything for Thursday or Friday or Saturday."

Buffalo has been frustrated and stifled, looking nothing like the team that led the NHL with 53 regular-season wins and 308 goals.

The Sabres' power play has been silenced, going 0-for-18. They squandered a two-goal lead in a 4-3 double-overtime loss in Game 2. And suddenly they can't even score. Buffalo managed just 15 shots on Monday, when it was shut out for the first time - regular season included - since a 4-0 loss to Carolina in Game 4 of last year's East finals.

"I guess enough talk, it's time to start playing," Sabres defenseman Toni Lydman said. "Our focus is on the next game. That's all it should be."

For all Ottawa has going for it, coach Bryan Murray had a reminder.

"Well, we're not in the finals yet, we have to win another game," he said. *