Thursday, March 14, 2013
Anaheim Ducks 2, Dallas Stars 1 (Shootout)
Unlucky Stars get game-winning goal called off, lose in shootout.
DALLAS The Dallas Stars' unlucky streak continued again Thursday night at the American Airlines Center, as they lost 2-1 to the Anaheim Ducks in the shootout. The loss was their third straight and dropped them to 12-12-2 on the season, while Anaheim climbed up to 20-3-3, second best in the entire NHL.
Dallas was snakebit despite an incredible effort, both by stellar netminding, blown calls and sheer dumb luck.
The Stars opened the scoring at 12:35 of the first period when Alex Goligoski skated in, dished a pass to Loui Eriksson who got it to Ray Whitney, playing in his first game back since getting off the injured list. Whitney backhanded the puck in from close range past Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller for his third goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
Dallas had several prime chances to increase their lead in the second period, but the puck simply wouldn't go in. Stars rookie Reilly Smith missed on a pure breakaway immediatelly following a penalty kill, and one shift later his shot from close range clanged off the post and the crossbar before bouncing out.
Anaheim tied it on the rush, when an uncovered Andrew Cogliano backhanded his own rebound while plowing through the crease to make it 1-1. Minutes later, the Stars apparently scored their second goal of the night when Derek Roy wristed in a Hiller rebound, but the referee had just barely blown the call dead despite the loose puck. The blown call would later prove to be a three-point swing in the standings in the Pacific Division.
Neither team scored in the third despite some excellent scoring chances, including another shot, from Jaromir Jagr, that also deflected off two posts before angling out. After a scoreless overtime, the game went to the shootout, where the Ducks' Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf easily scored on backhands, while neither Eriksson nor Whitney could get a proper shot on net.
Lehtonen was strong in net up until the shootout, stopping 29 of 30 shots in the loss. Hiller was both excellent and amazingly lucky, with 33 saves on 34 shots.
Dallas' next game is Saturday night against the #1 team in the NHL, the 22-2-3 Chicago Blackhawks.