ANAHEIM – The Dallas Stars have played quite the spoiler in the Ducks’ recent hot streak.
Anaheim, looking to avenge a 1-0 loss in Dallas that was just the second defeat in their last 11 games, were instead taken down by the Stars again, 6-2 at Honda Center.
The loss snapped a six-game home win streak for the Ducks and was the fourth loss in five games with the division rival Stars this season. Six different Stars scored goals in the win, which combined with that 1-0 decision on January 24 represents the only two victories in the last seven for Dallas.
"We played bad tonight," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It wasn’t fun to watch. We were in the game all the way, until the third period. We gave the puck away too much and got outworked. When you have that combination, you’re not going to have success."
Anaheim had a number of scoring chances on the night, but was 0 for 4 on the power play and was thwarted by 33 saves from Kari Lehtonen. Meanwhile, a handful of Ducks turnovers led directly to Stars scores.
The Ducks got off to a nice start on a Matt Beleskey goal at 5:14 of the first that went in off defenseman Stephane Robidas’ boot. But Anaheim proceeded to give up three unanswered in the period to give Dallas a lead they never surrendered.
In less than four minutes, Eric Nystrom punched in a rebound, Vernon Fiddler scored from the wing off a Luca Sbisa turnover, and Jamie Benn converted a breakaway off another Sbisa giveaway to make it 3-1 Stars.
"The only guy to blame is me," Sbisa said. "On the first one, Saku passed it back. I didn’t put enough pressure on the stick. The puck went underneath my stick. I lost a battle and they went down on a 2-on-1 and scored.
"Coach always tells how important those shifts are right after a goal. We have to be ready. I made a bad pass to Lubo. It went under his stick. They came back and Benn put it in."
Dallas made it 4-1 in the second following a Corey Perry slashing penalty, as a Stephane Robidas one-timer beat Jonas Hiller stick side.
Luca Sbisa got one back for Anaheim soon after the Dallas goal, as Teemu Selanne dropped the puck on the rush to the young defenseman, and he slung it over Lehtonen’s glove.
Any hopes to get back into the game at the start of the third were dashed just 36 seconds in, as Sheldon Souray’s one-timer beat Hiller through traffic to make it 5-2. Michael Ryder provided the final dagger with 2:26 left, punching in a Steve Ott feed on the doorstep following another Ducks turnover.
"We battled back, had a lot of energy in the second period and thought we could turn this game around," Sbisa said. "In the first shift of the third period they got a goal and that kind of knocked the wind out of us. At the end of the day, we can’t be happy with ourselves. It seemed like they won more battles than we did. You can’t win games if you don’t win battles."
The Ducks, looking to build on the momentum of their 4-1 win last night in Phoenix, instead suffered a defeat they couldn’t afford in their desperate push for playoff position.
"Our whole goal is to take it one game at a time and see where it ends up," Boudreau said. "That is what we started doing in January. I thought we played 12 really good games in a row. Tonight, we didn’t. We stunk. We just have to get back on the wagon tomorrow and play good on Friday."
20:00 - END OF GAME - Tough loss for Anaheim.
17:34 - DALLAS GOAL - MICHAEL RYDER - Another Ducks giveaway leads to a Dallas rush, in which Ott feeds Ryder on the doorstep for the punch-in. It's 6-2.
16:17 - Stars kill.
15:20 - Getzlaf rings the post with a one-timer from the circle.
14:17 - DAL Penalty - Stephane Robidas, 2 min. interference. Ducks desperately need one here.
13:10 - Hiller with a HUGE stop on a Louis Eriksson one-timer. That looked like a certain goal.
10:30 - Ryan gets driven hard into the glass by Fistric, bending the glass a ton.
9:45 - Selanne picks off a pass and feeds Koivu, but it bounces over the stick.
4:04 - Koivu with an open look off a Selanne pass, but Lehtonen makes the Finn-on-Finn save.
0:36 - DALLAS GOAL - SHELDON SOURAY - Ryder tips the puck back to Souray for the blast that beats Hiller through a crowd. It's 5-2 Stars, and not the start the Ducks hoped for.
0:00 - Off and running in the third, Ducks with two goals to make up.
2nd Period 20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Robidas adds to Dallas' lead, but Sbisa gets one back, and it's 4-2 going to the third. Gut check time for Anaheim.
18:55 - Little boy in the crowd gets hit in the head with a deflected puck, but looks like he'll be okay. Crowd gives a nice cheer.
15:51- Ducks threaten, but can't convert on the power play.
14:37 - Beauchemin with a one-timer gloved by Lehtonen. Ducks are buzzing.
13:51 - DAL Penalty - Sheldon Souray, 2 min. delay of game. Souray bats a mid-air puck over the glass. Ducks are calling for it, and the four officials get together and make the call. Crowd happy.
13:10 - Visnovsky with a good chance in the slot, but Lehtonen with the big stop.
10:21 - ANA Penalty - 2 min. too many men on the ice. Bad change leaves the Ducks with six skaters out there. Bit of a momentum-killer for Anaheim.
9:20 - Palmieri gets tripped by Fistric as he's racing after the puck in the corner and there is no call. Crowd not pleased.
8:36 - ANAHEIM GOAL - LUCA SBISA - Sbisa makes up for a couple of critical giveaway with a goal of his own, as Selanne drops the puck to him on the rush, and Sbisa slings a shot past Lehtonen's glove. It's now 4-2 Stars.
7:14 - DALLAS GOAL (POWER PLAY) - STEPHANE ROBIDAS - Perry's penalty bites the Ducks, as Ribeiro sends the puck up to Robidas, who beats Hiller stick side with the one-timer. It's 4-1 Dallas.
7:05 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. slashing. Perry loses the puck to Souray, than slashes his hand trying to get it back.
Woman in a low-cut top shown on the Honda Vision during the timeout, realizes she's on camera and covers up. Crowd moans.
6:46 - Beleskey again, ripping a slap shot that Lehtonen holds between the pads.
6:25 - An active Beleskey rubs out Larsen behind the net.
3:00 - Beleskey's hard pass across the crease to Cogliano is just painfully out of reach.
2:30 - Ducks don't get much going on that power play.
0:26 - DAL Penalty - Sheldon Souray, 2 min. cross checking. Souray gets out some aggression and the Ducks go on an important power play.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - A promising start transforms into three unanswered for the Stars, and it's 3-1.
19:34 - Getzlaf objects to a one-timer from Souray that was fired way high, whizzing by Getzlaf's head before darting out of play. A bit of pushing and shoving, but nothing else.
17:50 - DALLAS GOAL - JAMIE BENN - Sbisa's pass up ice to Visnovsky is out of his reach, and the Stars transition as Benn gets on the breakaway and dekes to the backhand before placing it top shelf. All of a sudden, it's 3-1 Dallas.
16:41 - DALLAS GOAL - VERNON FIDDLER - Sbisa turns the puck over, sending Fiddler racing down the left wing. He waits patiently for a diving Visnovsky to slide out the way before slipping the puck under Hiller. Definitely a shot Hiller would like back, and it's 2-1 Dallas.
14:09 - ANA Penalty - Saku Koivu, 2 min. holding the stick. Koivu gets tangled up with a Star.
13:56 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ERIC NYSTROM - Goligoski fires a slap shot from the point that caroms off Hiller and is quickly punched in by Nystrom, who wasn't cleared out well enough. It's 1-1.
12:50 - Benn has no one near him in the corner and straight up slips and falls. Sniper.
The Blue Angels are in the house tonight, getting a standing ovation. Nice.
11:20 - Bonino with a little shake-and-bake and a shot off Lehtonen.
10:20 - Sbisa tags a slap shot from the left point that's knocked down.
8:51 - DAL Penalty - Michael Ryder, 2 min. tripping. Getzlaf skates hard to the corner and gets taken down.
5:14 - ANAHEIM GOAL - MATT BELESKEY - Beleskey slides a low shot from just inside the blueline that flies past the stick of a screening Cogliano, hits Robidas' skate and flies over Lehtonen's right shoulder. It at first looked like it was tipped by Cogliano, but replays show he just missed it. It's 1-0.
4:10 - Beauchemin with a blast kicked away.
3:45 - Hiller ends up sprawled on his back during some scariness in front of the net, but the Ducks escape.
1:55 - Hiller chests away a Fiddler one-timer.
1:07 - Ducks controlling things early.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:38 p.m. - Dawn Wright with a spirited rendition of the anthem and we're ready to go.