After going the whole distance in an exhausting semifinal series against archrival Kölner Haie, the Metro Stars looked tired. Berlin outshot Düsseldorf 42-26 and went 3-for-7 on the man advantage while Düsseldorf couldn’t convert on any of its three power-play opportunities.
Goaltending was also a factor: Winning goalie Tomas Pöpperle stopped 25 shots. Düsseldorf's Andrei Trefilov turned aside 36 of the 42 shots he faced. "Trefilov's goaltending tonight was not outstanding", said DEG coach Don Jackson. "But he is a veteran and he'll be able to bounce back."
"We knew that Trefilov would give up a lot of rebounds and we were able to take advantage of it", said Eisbären defenseman Micki DuPont, who scored the first of Berlin's three power-play tallies to make it 3-0 late in the second period.
Lack of discipline also bothered the Stars: Forward Peter Ferraro will miss Game 2 after he got ejected for abusing referee Rick Looker with only 37 seconds left in the game.
Berlin opened the scoring with 5:06 left in the opening frame when Patrick Jarrett found Walser, who connected on a one-timer. Düsseldorf came close to tying the score when Thomas Jörg's wraparound attempt was denied by the post. Shortly after, Jarrett and Walser teamed up again. Walser's fourth playoff goal made it 2-0 at 12:33 of the second. With Düsseldorf's Craig Johnson in the sin bin, DuPont extended Berlin's lead to 3-0 on the power-play two minutes later.
Defender Jeff Tory got Düsseldorf on the board with just under four minutes left in the middle frame. Seconds later, Chris Schmidt could have brought the Stars back within a goal, but his shot rang off the framework.
The Eisbären put the game out of reach with a pair of power-play goals from Denis Pederson and Kelly Fairchild early in the third. Youngster Christoph Gawlik capped the scoring at 6-1 at 4:29 of the third.