The Ducks started the first period flying, and scored just 1:30 into the game. The Stars bounced back and controlled play for much of the remaining time in the period. Jamie Benn and Nicklas Grossman both came inches away from tying the game, but the post got in the way. Both teams had a power play opportunity in the opening frame, but both chances were killed. The Stars continued to outshoot the Ducks, but the momentum was killed when the referees botched an icing call and Luca Sbisa fired a shot from the half-wall right over Kari Lehtonen’s shoulder, giving the Ducks a 2-0 lead that would carry over into the final period. The Stars mediocre second period quickly became distant memory as the Stars exploded out of the gate. Steve Ott scored 1:39 into the period, and then Alex Goligoski netted the tying goal just one minute later. The Ducks weren’t done yet, though, and a costly turnover led to Teemu Selanne dropping the puck back to Saku Koivu for his second goal of the night, returning the lead to the Ducks, 3-2. The Ducks attacked the zone in an odd-man rush and made the Stars pay a few minutes later, with Matt Beleskey giving the Ducks yet another two goal lead. The Stars pulled Lehtonen in a last minute effort, but Koivu finished the Stars with his third goal of the night, giving the Ducks a 5-2 victory.
What It Means:
The Stars outplayed and out shot the Ducks for a large portion for the game, but the difference was that through the first two periods, shots went Anaheim’s way, but not Dallas’. The Ducks jumped out to an early lead, and the Stars responded accordingly, but they weren’t able to put the puck in the net, hitting a couple posts in the attempt. The aforementioned botched call may have lead to the second Anaheim goal of the night, and any momentum the Stars might have been gaining was completely extinguished. Heading into that final period, the Stars needed to get an early goal, and they needed to show life. Whatever happened during that intermission worked. That hot start was encouraging, with two quick goals to tie, but it’s a shame the Stars could not keep up the pace, letting Anaheim get the better of them and storming back to reclaim their lead and win the game. It’s another disappointing loss to a cellar-dwelling team, and it’s becoming more and more apparent something isn’t clicking with the defense. These division losses hurt, no matter how far from the playoffs the other team is. The Stars need to show more consistency. You’ve heard that all season, but it is truly the biggest problem about this team. Other game notes:
- All eyes are now shifting towards the Anaheim Ducks, who have now won three straight games, showing substantial offensive punch in each victory.
- Jamie Benn’s assist tonight puts him on a five-game point streak.
- The third line of Nystrom, Fiddler, and Dvorak continues to struggle. No member of that line has a point or a positive plus/minus since December 29th versus Columbus.
- The Power Play was putrid (0/3), but the Penalty Kill was perfect (3/3). Sound familiar?
The Stars head to Los Angeles on Thursday night to face the Kings. Los Angeles has been on a tear lately, as we examined on Monday. These division wins are more and more important as the season goes on, the Stars can’t afford to be losing points at this point in the season. It’s another late 9:30pm start, and is schedules to be broadcast on FSSW, so be ready to stay up late.
Be sure to check out Ducks Daily Blog for their post game write up!
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