When Michael Ryder scored in the third period to give Dallas a two-goal lead, Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen relaxed a bit.
By the time the Detroit Red Wings finally put the puck past him, it was too late to make any difference.
Ryder scored in the first and third periods, and Lehtonen came within 3.4 seconds of a shutout in the Stars' 2-1 win over the Red Wings on Tuesday night.
Lehtonen made 39 saves and allowed only Damien Brunner's first career goal just before time expired.
"It was fairly easy the first 50 minutes I would say, then Detroit came a lot harder," Lehtonen said. "It was nice to have that two-goal lead. It made it a little more calm."
Ryder had already scored an insurance goal with 14:26 to play.
Detroit's Jimmy Howard had 30 saves — including 16 in the second period — to keep his team in it.
"I think in pieces in the game we did some good things," Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "The power play's not good. Got to get better at that."
Detroit went 0 for 4 with the man advantage and is 0 for 15 on the season.
Jaromir Jagr went without a point for Dallas for a second straight game after posting two goals and two assists in the season opener Saturday.
Detroit's fans were ready for the Red Wings' first home game after the lockout.
It was the 72nd consecutive sellout for an NHL game at Joe Louis Arena, and the crowd roared when Tomas Holmstrom came out to drop the ceremonial first puck. Holmstrom announced his retirement earlier Tuesday after 15 seasons with the Red Wings.
Ryder opened the scoring with 14:19 left in the first, beating Howard from the edge of the right circle with a terrific shot that sailed past the goalie's right shoulder.
"Took a quick shot from the slot, and it managed to find its way in," Ryder said. "''As a team here, we're doing a lot of good things, and we're getting better as every day goes by."
The Red Wings killed 3:55 of power-play time after Brunner and Kyle Quincey took back-to-back minor penalties in the second. While short-handed, Detroit's Valtteri Filppula beat Lehtonen to the goalie's right, but the shot hit the post and stayed out.
"Always when you hear that noise it's not fun, but I was happy to see it come back," Lehtonen said.
Howard was terrific in the second, stopping Tom Wandell's stuff attempt and later denying Trevor Daley when he had a chance from in close.
"I thought we were fine in the first. Then we started turning the puck over all over the place in the second. We weren't mentally sharp all night," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I think we looked like we were out of gas."
Detroit nearly tied it in the first minute of the third, but Lehtonen stopped Zetterberg at the doorstep, then slid to his left to prevent Brunner from knocking in the rebound.
Dallas added its second goal after Ray Whitney had his shot blocked. He retrieved the loose puck and sent a nice cross-ice pass to Ryder, whose quick wrist shot went past Howard.
Howard's best save might have been a few minutes later when Reilly Smith stickhandled past a Detroit player and lifted a backhander from point-blank range that Howard gloved.
NOTES: The Red Wings honored the memory of former public address announcer Budd Lynch during the first period. Lynch, a veteran radio broadcaster who spent more than 60 years working for the team, died in October. ... Jagr remains a goal behind Luc Robitaille for 10th place on the NHL's career list. Jagr has 667 goals. ... Brunner scored in a shootout in Monday's victory over Columbus, but this was his first real goal.