Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Anaheim Ducks 5, Dallas Stars 2
New-look Stars debut to yet another lopsided regulation loss.
The Dallas Stars, fresh off selling four of their players for picks and prospects this week, lost 5-2 to the Ducks in Anaheim Wednesday night. The loss was their third straight and fourth in their last five games, dropping them to 16-17-3 on the season. With 35 points, Dallas is 4 points behind the surging Edmonton Oilers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, with just 12 games remaining. Anaheim improved to 25-7-5, two points behind the NHL-leading Chicago Blackhawks.
Without captain Brenden Morrow and offensive stars Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy, the Stars started a makeshift forward group that featured Loui Eriksson playing center on the second line. The results were not good, but the compete level was far higher than it had been in several games. The two teams played fairly evenly in the first period until 11:44, when Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf, with the extra attacker on a delayed penalty, dished a pass right past a frozen Aaron Rome to a wide-open Radek Dvorak. Dvorak, a former Star who had last scored nearly a calendar year ago, tipped it in for his first of the year and an early 1-0 lead.
Things went from bad to worse in the second period, as can be expected in Stars games. With Alex Goligoski off for tripping midway through the middle frame --the only called penalty of the entire game for either team-- Getzlaf got the puck to Teemu Selanne, who powered the puck past Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen and in for his 10th of the season and second in as many nights.
Five minutes later at 16:38 the Ducks won a scrum in the corner, and Peter Holland simply skated directly at the net. Rome's weak pokecheck attempt didn't come remotely close, and Holland's rebound was shot in by Kyle Palmieri for his 8th of the season and a 3-0 lead.
The Stars had been in this exact situation in the previous game, and had folded in front of their home crowd. This third period, however, the Stars showed some spunk at last and brought tremendous amounts of pressure in the offensive zone. They were rewarded at 2:48 when Vern Fiddler skated behind the net and got a pass to a streaking Erik Cole, who chipped it over Ducks goalie Victor Fasth for his 4th goal as a Star and a 3-1 game.
Unfortunately, despite several near-misses after that, the Ducks took advantage of the Stars attack and counterpunched midway through the period. Corey Perry performed a deft skating manuever to stay onsides, then passed to a wide-open Getzlaf, who backhanded it in for his 13th of the year and a 4-1 lead.
Dallas did not give up, however, as new fourth line grinder Lane MacDermid, recently acquired in the Jagr trade along with Cody Payne and a conditional 2nd round pick from the Bruins, took a pass from Ryan Garbutt and converted for his first NHL goal with 84 seconds remaining. Andrew Cogliano scored into an empty net with four seconds remaining to cap the scoring.
Lehtonen was subpar on the night once again, stopping just 22 of 26 shots in the loss. Fasth was significantly better, making 23 saves on 25 shots to improve to 13-3-1 on the season.
Dallas' next game completes a three-game series against the Ducks, and will be Friday night in Anaheim.