ANAHEIM – While the Ducks may have stolen a couple of games during this current win streak, they left no doubt who the better team was tonight.
Anaheim got two goals from Bobby Ryan in the third period, the latter a door-slamming empty-netter, to push the Ducks to a sixth straight victory, 4-2 over the Dallas Stars.
"It was a huge night," Ryan said. "Tonight we didn’t give them a whole lot of momentum swings, which we’ve done in the past few games. The guys played hard in front of Hillsy [Jonas Hiller, who had 27 saves]. He earned the win tonight for us."
Both Ryan and linemate Ryan Getzlaf had big third period goals to give the Ducks a two-goal cushion with 10 minutes to play in the game. Getzlaf put the Ducks ahead at 2:53 of the third when he received a beautiful blind pass by Corey Perry and one-timed it through from the top of the crease. Then Ryan made it 4-2 Anaheim halfway through the third on the power play when he walloped a one-timer from the point that hit defenseman Trevor Daley and bounced past goalie Kari Lehtonen.
"When Getzy buried that goal, it was huge," Ryan said, then alluded to the line of him, Ryan and Corey Perry. "The three of us fought the puck a little bit early in the game, so it was nice to get rewarded for sticking with it. We’ve figured each other out and we’re rolling right now. It’s evident. It just needs to stick."
Dallas made a game of it with 3:38 left, when Brad Richards picked up the puck off the back wall and wristed it just under the crossbar.
The Stars threatened to tie it when Paul Mara took a cross checking penalty behind the Anaheim net about a half minute later, but the Ducks penalty kill came through once again with the help of Hiller. That gave the Ducks 17 straight penalty kills dating back to the third period of the November 3 win over Tampa Bay.
Hiller also had a big stop with 9:57 left in the game, when he denied Jamie Benn on a penalty shot after Paul Mara got called for hooking Benn from behind in his way to the net. "I just tried to stay on my feet as long as possible," Hiller said. "He was coming in pretty slow. I thought he was going to deke. He made a good move and I was able to move my leg out. I felt pretty comfortable."
The Ducks, who only managed 14 shots on goal two nights ago in a 1-0 win over the Islanders, had 17 in the first period alone tonight and got off 37 for the game. "Any time you can get out and have the number of shots that we had in the first period, we were trying to take advantage," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We knew they played a tough game last night. These are opportunities that you get that you have to take advantage of."
The Ducks did just that when they got on the board first, 13:56 into the game, thanks to the hot Saku Koivu and his so-called Masterton line with wingers Teemu Selanne and Jason Blake. Selanne made a pretty pass from the bottom of the left wing circle in front, where Koivu couldn’t quite get a stick on it, but the puck hit his skate and skittered into the net. A quick video review determined that Koivu did not kick the puck in and the goal stood, his fifth in the last five games.
But Dallas evened things up less than a minute later, when Brandon Segal one-timed a Daley pass that Hiller stopped initially, but it leaked behind him and over the stripe.
That was the extent of the scoring until that pivotal third period when Ryan and Getzlaf managed to put the game away and improve the Ducks to 7-1-1 at home.
Tonight was the last of a stretch of six of eight games at home for the Ducks, who play at Chicago on Sunday.
The six game is Anaheim's longest winning streak since Feb. 17-Mar. 3, 2008 (6-0-0). It equals the longest current win streak in the NHL (also Washington). This is the first time in franchise history that the Ducks have opened the month of November with a 6-0-0 record. Over the last 15 games, Anaheim has gone 10-4-1.
The Ducks also have a five-game winning streak at HOME dating back to Nov. 3 vs. TB. The five-game streak is their longest since Mar. 14-29, 2010 (5-0-0). The club has gone 7-1-1 in its first nine contests at HOME this season.
With a goal in tonight’s contest, Saku Koivu extended his point streak to a season-high five games (5-2=7). It’s his longest personal streak since Mar. 31-Apr. 11, 2010 (4-7=11). He also has goals in four of the last five games.
Cam Fowler had his first career multi-point night with two assists (0-2=3). He has also put together his first career point streak (0-3=3 in two contests).
Lubomir Visnovsky has earned points in five of the last six contests (2-5=7), 3-10=13 points in the last 12 and 3-12=15 in the last 15. His 3-12=15 points on the season rank third among league defensemen.
With two goals in tonight’s contests, including the game-winner, Bobby Ryan has earned points in five of the last six contests (3-5=8), 6-6=12 in the last 10 and 7-10=17 in the last 15. It was his second multi-goal game of the season (14 career).
Teemu Selanne has points in two straight (0-2=2), six of the last seven (2-7=9), 5-9=14 over the last 12 and 7-11=18 in the last 15. His 7-12=19 points on the season rank tied for fifth in the NHL (also Ryan Getzlaf and DAL’s Brad Richards).
Ryan Getzlaf holds a share of fifth in league scoring with teammate Selanne (and DAL’s Brad Richards), earning 7-12=19 points in the first 18 contests of 2010-11. He has earned 4-2=6 points in the last seven games, 5-6=11 in the last 11 and 7-12=19 in the last 15.
Corey Perry has points in six of the last seven games (2-6=8), 3-7=10 in the last nine and 6-12=18 in the last 15.
Jason Blake has earned 1-3=4 points in the last four games.
Jonas Hiller won his fifth consecutive contest (5-0-0), his longest win streak since Jan. 5-13, 2010. Over the five-game stretch, he has stopped 148-of-160 shots for a .925 SV% and 2.35 GAA (12 GA/307 MIN). Hiller and Curtis McElhinney have combined for a perfect 6-0-0 record over the last six contests with a 1.96 GAA (12 GA/367 MIN) and .936 SV% (175-of-187).
Hiller has stopped both penalty shot attempts in his career (tonight vs. DAL’s Jamie Benn and on Nov. 27, 2007 vs. VAN’s Henrik Sedin).
Tonight’s attendance was 13,839.
19:46 - ANAHEIM GOAL (EMPTY NET) - BOBBY RYAN - Lydman picks up the puck in the slot after Perry blocks a point shot and makes a pinpoint pass to Ryan on the right wing, and Ryan carefully lays it into the empty net from just inside the blueline to ice it. It's 4-2 Ducks.
19:24 - Ducks ice it with 36.8 left and Dallas takes timeout.
18:55 - Hiller with a huge stop on Eriksson, just as the puck is sent the length of the sheet with the penalty running out.
18:27 - Not to jinx it, but Hiller looks exceptionally calm out there. A couple of nice saves on the PK.
16:58 - ANA Penalty - Paul Mara, 2 min. cross checking. Mara knocks down Ott behind the net, though I'm not sure that was a cross check. Either is Mara, apparently.
16:22 - DALLAS GOAL - BRAD RICHARDS - Lydman gets fooled by a puck off the back wall and it ends up on Richards' stick, and he fires a wrist shot from in deep that just gets under the crossbar. It's uh oh time as the Stars pull to within 3-2.
Little kid on the Honda Vision seems to be completely entertained by just pumping his fists in front of himself. Oh, to be young again.
15:58 - Hiller with a nice stop on a Benn try.
15:35 - 4:25 left. Let's finish this baby.
10:04 - Benn tries to deke to the forehand on the penalty shot and Hiller very calmly flops on his belly while throwing out the led pad to stop it. Big save by Hiller at a big time.
10:04 - Mara hooks Benn from behind on the way to the net and a penalty shot is awarded.
9:36 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BOBBY RYAN - Ryan's at the point waiting for a pass from Visnovsky, and when he gets it, he wallops a one-timer that hits Trevor Daley in front and bounces past Lehtonen. Ryan is noticeably pumped up and the Ducks take a two-goal lead. Second assist to the kiddo.
8:18 - DAL Penalty - Stephane Robidas, 2 min. delay of game. Robidas sends it over the glass. That's three on him tonight.
5:45 - Parros hammers Segal after Segal takes the puck out of the air and puts it on his stick. "THE TRAIN IS COMING!" is screamed by the loud guy in front of us. Doesn't he skip a game now and then?
4:35 - Robidas cuts to the high slot and fires a shot off the outside of the post.
4:05 - Eriksson gets loose on right wing, but Visnovsky hounds him enough so that his shot is an easy one for Hiller to take in.
2:53 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - You get the feeling these two have worked together before. Perry picks up the puck off the wall behind the Dallas net and delivers a no-look dish to the top of the crease, where Getzlaf is there to bat it through. Hands in the air, then the familiar double-fist pump in front of his chest for Getzy and it's 2-1 Ducks.
Feeling strangely sleepy tonight. Pouring Diet Pepsi down my throat. (This message brought to you by the folks at Pepsi.)
Female co-worker says I'm not funny enough tonight. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
0:00 - Off and running in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Not a ton of action in the second, as the Ducks and Stars go scoreless to remain tied 1-1.
19:27 - Blake gets some room down the left wing and fires a shot, but Lehtonen won't LetOneIn.
17:35 - Hiller with a nice stop on an Ott shot with Segal all over him.
Tonight's Guess that Duck: This Duck has a brother who plays wide receiver for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the choices are Getzlaf, Perry or Lupul. People seem to know their CFL, or they can tell who's in the blurry photo, because they're texting heavily in favor of Getzlaf. And they're right.
11:00 - Fowler is out of position when Neal gets the puck in open ice, but he's bailed out when Neal's shot hits the inside of the far post. Inches from being 2-1.
10:00 - Ryan makes a great blind pass from behind the net to Getzlaf, but he can't get enough on it, and Lehtonen makes his save of the night.
8:20 - Richards with a nice pass to Neal, who shoots at an open net, but Hiller dives to deflect it with the glove. Save of the game, easily.
7:30 - Perry gives Ryan a pass from behind the net for the one-timer that Lehtonen knocks away.
4:10 - Carter gets drilled into the wall by Niskanen and looks a little shaken up.
3:45 - Lilja puts a hip into Benn and sends him heels over head.
2:34 - ANA Penalty - Paul Mara, 2 min. high sticking. First on the Ducks tonight.
0:00 - Here we go in the second, the Ducks with some power play time.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Koivu gets one, but the Ducks give up one as they're tied 1-1 after 1. Shots are 18-5 in favor of Anaheim.
19:08 - DAL Penalty - Stephane Robidas, 2 min. tripping. Selanne gets taken down behind the net. With everything that guy does well, he may be one of the best ever at drawing penalties.
17:00 - Ducks already with 17 shots to Dallas' 5. Anaheim had 14 all last game.
16:30 - Morrow and Robidas collide with each other near the blue line and Morrow appears to be in not so good shape on the bench. He's got his head down as the trainer attends to him.
14:52 - DALLAS GOAL - BRANDON SEGAL - Daley skates with it behind the net and feeds in front to Segal, who one-times a shot that Hiller initially stops, but it leaks under him and barely over the stripe before he can turn around and grab it. We're tied 1-1.
13:56 - ANAHEIM GOAL - SAKU KOIVU - The older-but-speedy line does it yet again, as does Koivu, who gets his fifth in five games. Selanne throws the puck into the middle from the bottom of the left wing circle, where Koivu can't get his stick on it, but it hits his skate and trickles into the net. They review to see if he kicked it in or not, but after a quick look, they rule the goal stands. It's 1-0 Ducks.
It's trivia time based on the movie "The Next Three Days" with Russell Crowe. The question is, which movie did Crowe win an Oscar for? Gladiator, L.A. Confidential or A Beautiful Mind? The fan guesses A Beautiful Mind, which I would have sworn is right, but apparently it was Gladiator.
12:00 - Just as the penalty ends, Visnovsky rips a one-timer that beats Lehtonen but rings the post.
10:19 - Questionable offside call as Fowler intercepts the puck and heads in, but they say it crossed over the blue stripe. Eh-eh.
9:58 - DAL Penalty - Stephane Robidas, 2 min. holding. Ducks spend about a minute on the delayed whistle with a 6 on 5, but can't get anything through. Looked good though.
It's all about Usher (not an usher, but Usher) during the timeout segment where fans are asked to text which song they want to hear -- "Yeah," "OMG" or "DJ Got Us Falling in Love." And the clear winner is "DJ" so we'll be hearing that one tonight. PA announcer Phil Hulett doesn't appear to know his Usher all that well. "DJ Got Us Falling in Love" came out a little awkwardly.
6:15 - Ducks are already halfway to their shot total of two nights ago.
6:00 - Shots on goal are 6-1 Ducks. That's right, Ducks.
3:55 - Parros a shot from the right wing that Lehtonen gobbles.
1:45 - Hiller with a good first stop of the game, on a shot by Neal.
0:15 - Ducks almost get one early, as the puck takes a hop off the back wall and bounces into the crease, befuddling Lehtonen.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:07 p.m. - More excellence from a guy named Adam in this building, as naval commander Adam Ellis does a heck of a job on the anthem. Starters in bold/italics. Scratches crossed out.