By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANAHEIM – Unfortunately for the Anaheim Ducks, some things never change.
The Dallas Stars team that owned the Ducks last year and eliminated Anaheim from the Stanley Cup Playoffs came into this game struggling mightily with a 4-6-2 record and a league-worst 50 goals against. But that hardly showed as they dominated Anaheim on both ends of the ice en route to a 5-2 whitewashing at Honda Center.
"We got away from our game of just the hard work, the skating and the simple things," said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer. "They came out and did those things. They had us back a little bit and got those early goals. When you’re playing against a team that is pretty determined defensively like they were, it’s tough to turn it around. We tried, but we weren’t able to do it."
|Scott Niedermayer and the Ducks dropped their first game in regulation in the last 10, as they continued to have trouble with Dallas.
The Stars went 5-3-0 against the Ducks last regular season and eliminated them in six games in the first round of the postseason, so Anaheim was looking for revenge. And they came into the game with the opposite fortunes as the Stars, having won eight of their last nine. But the Ducks looked sluggish for much of the game and a Mark Parrish hat trick in his Stars debut helped do them in, handing the Ducks their first regulation loss in 10 games.
"They were playing hard," Niedermayer said. "They were a team that was hungry for the points tonight, probably hungrier than we were. I think that showed. All those things that happened out there, I think they deserved to win."
The Stars blew ahead of the Ducks in the second period, thanks to the second and third goals of the game for the 31-year-old Parrish. The right winger, who had 16 goals last year for Minnesota, was a free agent up until last Wednesday, when the Stars signed him for a salary of just $500,000.
Parrish put the Stars up 3-1 with a power play goal 1:13 into the period, as he took in a bouncing puck in the slot and quickly chipped it past Giguere. A few minutes later, Scott Niedermayer was holding the puck alone at the Ducks’ blueline when he inexplicably fell to the ice. Parrish scooped up the puck, and with only Giguere to beat, he sent a wrist shot past him.
"I knocked it down, it went into my feet and I just stepped right on it," Niedermayer said. "Things like that do happen in a hockey game. We were already behind the eight ball."
That sent Giguere to the bench for backup Jonas Hiller, the second time Giguere has been pulled mid-game in the last four. He was removed last Friday in a 7-6 shootout loss to Vancouver at Honda Center
Parrish had given the Stars a 2-0 lead when he followed a Fabian Brunnstrom goal with another strike halfway through the period on the power play. Sean Avery went behind the net to pick up the puck and sent it backwards to a waiting Parrish, who batted it home.
The Ducks were able to cut that lead in half with 2:32 left in the period, as Brendan Morrison finally found the net for the first time this season. Ryan Carter’s shot from between the circles was saved by Dallas netminder Marty Turco, but it snuck underneath him. He tried to turn around and freeze the puck, but Morrison jabbed at it repeatedly before sending it through.
"It was pretty much laying there," Morrison said. "It’s not the kind of one that you dream about, but a goal is a goal. Right now, we’ll take them any way we can get them. It’s always nice to contribute. The last three games it feels like it’s starting to come, so hopefully it’s a sign. The goal is to get better each and every night."
|One positive for the Ducks was Brendan Morrison (far left) scoring his first goal as a Duck in the first period.
Teemu Selanne, who started the play by getting the puck away from Turco in the corner, earned an assist for his 370th as a Duck. That broke him out of a tie with Paul Kariya for the Ducks record.
Turco, who entered the game having struggled just as much as the rest of the Stars with just three wins and a goals-against average of 4.34, had 28 saves. The Ducks actually outshot the Stars, 30-26.
The game got out of hand for Anaheim when a Steve Ott shot trickled behind Hiller and Brad Richards dove to help it in as it was heading for the stripe.
The Ducks did manage to score one later in the period on the power play, when Scott Niedermayer got his stick on a Chris Pronger slap shot and tipped it past Turco.
Anaheim had heavyweight George Parros in the lineup for the first time since suffering a scratched cornea last Friday against Vancouver. Parros skated with a protective visor for the first time and played 7:41.
"We didn’t have a very good effort tonight all around," Morrison said. "I don’t think they played exceptionally well. I just don’t think that we were as sharp as we needed to be. We knew they were a desperate team coming in and they were a little bit fragile, but they did what they had to do to win. We didn’t do enough. Now, the key here is to see how quickly we can rebound. That is the sign of a good team is to bounce back right away."
The Ducks look to get back on track Sunday when they take on Florida at Honda Center.
18:27 - DAL Penalty - Nicklas Grossman, 2 min. holding. Carlucci announces the penalty and says, "The Ducks are on the power play" with the same energy as this crowd is showing.
14:42 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
, 2 min. cross checking. Perry vehemently disagrees with the call and TV catches him expressing that clearly.
10:35 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - SCOTT NIEDERMAYER (scoring change from earlier) - With the Ducks on the man advantage, Pronger smacks a one-timer from the point and Niedermayer tips it in the slot as it speeds by him. Unfortunately, it only counts as one, as the Ducks still trail 5-2.
10:26 - After Turco saves a Selanne shot from the slot, Perry rushes in to try and punch in the loose puck and topples over Turco. That seems to happen a lot with those two.
10:14 - DAL Penalty - Mike Modano, 2 min. delay of game.
There's a loud THUD just before PA guy Mike Carlucci announces something, meaning he probably dropped the mic. It's just one of those nights, isn't it?
9:01 - DALLAS GOAL - BRAD RICHARDS - Trevor Daley gets free for a shot from the slot and Hiller saves, but it pops out to Ott, who puts it back on net and it trickles behind Hiller. As the puck is inching toward the stripe, Richards dives for it and finishes it off. It's 5-1 Stars and this thing has gotten embarrassing.
Video board shows actress Catherine Keener ("The 40-Year-Old Virgin") in the crowd. She's actually here as a guest of Sean Avery. I'm serious.
It's a morgue in this building right now.
5:14 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
, 2 min. interference. Perry runs hard into Richards, sending him to the ice as Selanne moves up the right wing. Tough break for the Ducks.
4:44 - Selanne takes a slap shot from the bottom of the circle, but this one won't get through. Kind of consistent with this night so far.
3:52 - DAL Penalty - Mike Modano, 2 min. high sticking. Modano gets Samuel Pahlsson in his China doll face.
2:10 - Scott Niedermayer just pulled off a successful toe drag move as he skated into the Dallas zone. I honestly don't think I've seen him do that before.
0:44 - DAL Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. Chance for the Ducks to claw back.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, the Ducks definitely needing to get something.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - And it's not a good one for the Ducks, who give up two goals to Parrish in the first six minutes and look sluggish. They trail 4-1.
18:27 - Perry rips a slap shot on the move that Turco saves around the upper chest area, the loose puck pops out in front of him as he flops to the ice, but the Ducks can't get it over him as he covers.
18:05 - Parrish nearly gets another
one, as Modano feeds him from behind the net and his one-timer is stopped by Hiller.
15:39 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. roughing and DAL Penalty - Steve Ott, 2 min. roughing. Selanne gets ahead of the D on the wing and tries to flip a shot by Turco, but he's ready for it. Back at the blueline, Pronger and Ott get into it, gripping on to each other without throwing too many punches. Ott obviously didn't like something Pronger said to him after he dogged Pronger up the ice. Pronger put a hand in his face and Ott got a little shot in.
14:07 - Hiller faces his first shot after going in for Giguere.
12:29 - ANA Penalty - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. roughing. Pahlsson gets tangled up with Modano in the Dallas zone as the puck goes the other way and just decides to throw Modano down to the ice by his head. Rare show of angry aggression by Pahlsson, and I like it.
10:45 - Getzlaf throws a pretty feed to an open Perry across the crease and it goes under his stick, thwarting a sure goal. It's just one of those nights so far.
9:07 - DAL Penalty - Stephane Robidas, 2 min. interference. Somehow, the second-most penalized team in the league takes its first minor of the game. Seems odd.
8:50 - Parrish nearly gets his fourth, trying a one-timer from in close to an empty net, but it flies over the goal. Unreal.
They finally announce the change on the goal, giving it to Parrish, meaning he's got a hat trick in his Ducks debut.
The video board alternates between a woman wearing a Stars jersey (crowd goes "booooooo!") and a cute girl wearing a Getzlaf jersey backwards ("yeeeeaaaahhh!").
5:52 - Giguere is pulled for Jonas Hiller
5:52 - DALLAS GOAL - MARK PARRISH - Scott Niedermayer is controlling the puck at his own blueline when he shockingly falls on his rump with no one near him. Parrish scoops up the puck and skates alone toward Giguere before wristing a shot by him. It's supposed to be a hat trick for Parrish if they gave that second goal to him. It's 4-1 Dallas.
3:24 - Sutherby and Philippe Boucher get into it behind the net and Sutherby looks pumped up for this one as he wails away at Boucher. They both take 5.
1:13 - DALLAS GOAL (POWER PLAY) - MARK PARRISH - Giguere makes a save on a Dallas shot, but the puck flies up in the air and Pronger fails to slap it away. It dribbles to Parrish in the slot and he quickly flips it on net for the goal. They announce the goal to Avery, though I'm not sure how, because even if he tipped it, Parrish would get the assist, and they didn't announce Parrish as one of the helpers. Strange. Either way, it's 3-1 Dallas and it's the second of the game for Parrish. I can't figure out how not one team signed him before last Monday, and he's playing for just $500,000.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks give up two early ones, but claw back on Morrison's long-awaited first of the season. It's 2-1 Stars.
19:16 - ANA Penalty - Chris Kunitz, 2 min. boarding and 2 min. roughing and Trevor Daley, 2 min. roughing Kunitz absolutely pastes Avery into the glass, snapping Avery's head back, and Avery is very slow to get up. I don't want to say it was well-deserved, but ... Daley scuffles with Kunitz after the play, as they both earn roughing penalties.
17:28 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BRENDAN MORRISON - It's MORRISON FINALLY! Ryan Carter gets some room to take a shot from the slot, and Turco stops it but it slips behind him. He tries to fall backward on the puck but can't freeze it as Morrison pokes repeatedly at it before sending it through. The guys on the ice all crowd around Morrison, holding together in celebration for a little longer than normal as Morrison finally gets his first of the year. Selanne started the play by getting the puck away from Turco in the corner and earns his 370th assist as a Duck, a new club record.
15:30 - Kunitz gets a feed from Getzy in the slot and doesn't do much with it right away, leaving him open for a Sean Avery drill job. A few seconds later, Avery and Parros are yapping on the benches, with Avery leaning over the board to talk to Georgie.
It's trivia time, and the dude is asked, Who is the Ducks career leader in penalty minutes? He's given four choices and guesses Stu Grimson. WRONG! It's Dave Karpa.
14:09 - Kunitz somehow finds himself at the point as he fires a one-timer with a Corey Perry
screen, but Turco looks the puck in.
10:44 - DALLAS GOAL (POWER PLAY) - MARK PARRISH - Sean Avery goes behind the net to retrieve the puck and reverses it with a nice feed to Parrish at the top of the crease. He makes it pay off by one-timing it past Giguere. Parrish was just signed as a free agent on Monday. It's 2-0 Stars. Not the start Anaheim had in mind.
9:14 - ANA Penalty - Travis Moen, 2 min. elbowing. Moen puts a high hit on a Star.
7:07 - DALLAS GOAL - FABIAN BRUNNSTROM - Mike Ribeiro emerges from behind the net and tries to stuff it in, but Giguere makes the stop. But in the process, the puck squirts into the crease as Giguere falls to the ice. Brunnstrom is right there to punch it into the wide open net. It's 1-0 Dallas. Brunsstrom, who had a hat trick in his NHL debut last month, has six goals on the season.
5:18 - Parros swipes the puck away from Niskanen and takes a shot from a low angle that Turco holds. Georgie's making his presence felt already.
3:46 - Little tiny Stephane Robidas puts a hit on Bret Hedican in front of the Dallas bench, and Hedi doesn't look all that pleased about it.
3:20 - Ott drills Perry in the back as Perrs tries to catch a mid-air puck.
2:00 - Pronger topples Turco with a hard shot from the point, and George Parros
(in there for the first time in a week) tries to follow it. It's saved too.
1:53 - Huskins takes a shot from the blueline and Turco corrals it. One of the few saves he's made this year.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:08 p.m. - New blood as Lindsay Ridgeway belts out the anthem for the first time this season.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; DAL Marty Turco
Starting Skaters - ANA Bret Hedican, Chris Pronger, Bret Hedican, Brendan Morrison, Teemu Selanne
, Ryan Carter
; DAL Nicklas Grossman, Stephane Robidas, Loui Eriksson, Steve Ott, Brad Richards
Scratches - ANA Brad May, Nathan McIver; DAL Jere Lehtinen, Doug Janik