By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – Dan Ellis was able to sting his former team, holding the Ducks scoreless for their first time since last March 27 in a frustrating 2-0 defeat for Anaheim at Honda Center.
It was just the third loss in regulation at home all season for the NHL-leading Ducks (40-12-5), but all three have come in the last five games there.
Trevor Daley’s goal five minutes into the second was the only scoring by either team until the Stars put the game away with an empty-netter from Jamie Benn with 28.8 seconds left in the game.
Just moments earlier, Corey Perry pounced on a rebound with an open right half of the net in front of him, but couldn’t get an angle on the shot and sent it off the side of the cage. That was one of the few near-misses for the Ducks, who didn’t generate a lot offensively at even strength or on their four power play opportunities (27 shots overall).
Ellis was inserted in net to provide rest for No. 1 netminder Kari Lehtonen, who had missed just one game in the last 21 and had started nine in a row. Ellis played 23 games in two seasons in Anaheim (2010 through 2012), posting a 9-8-1 record during that stint. He beat the Ducks 6-3 in Dallas back on November 26, when the Stars scored three times in 53 seconds on their way to a convincing victory.
"When things aren't going your way, you might lose confidence," said Jonas Hiller, who played a solid game with 26 saves. "We need to get another streak going."
The only score on Hiller came when Daley punched in a rebound off a Cody Eakin shot at 5:03 of the second period, and that was all the Stars would need tonight as Ellis improved to 5-5-0.
The Ducks will have a chance to bounce back two nights from now, when they take on the Blue Jackets at Honda Center, the fourth contest in their current five-game homestand.