The rested Dallas Stars took on a former Pacific Division rival tonight: the Anaheim Ducks. Both clubs found themselves separated by only one point in the Western Conference standings when the puck dropped with the Stars in third in the Central Division and the Ducks sitting outside the two Western Conference wild card slots. With the Stars coming off a terrible outing against San Jose, the contest against Anaheim felt like a way to get back on track to salvage their record for this road swing through California.
It was again, “Hockey is For Everyone” night in the NHL as the Ducks hosted their ceremonies before the puck drop, which turned out to be a good night for the Stars when they hosted their night against the St.Louis Blues last week.
The Stars were hoping to get a similar effort from everyone in the lineup to pull points out of a tough building tonight. Unfortunately, their offense spittered and they found no points tonight.
The first period would start slow as both teams played a tight checking, uneventful brand of hockey. Both goaltenders would be tested at times throughout the period, but in the first ten minutes the score was 0-0. The Stars would nearly strike first when Brett Ritchie rang one off the post by Ryan Miller, but the bounces just did’t fall the Stars way tonight.
Overall, the first ten minutes for the Stars was much better than Sunday night, and the attention to detail seemed to be there.
Antoine Roussel would take a penalty with 6:53 remaining in the period for holding against Cam Fowler. The infraction would prove costly, as Anaheim would strike six seconds later thanks to Hampus Lindholm sneaking down to the front of the net for an easy tap in. The slow starts for the Stars would again haunt them, as they would find themselvesallowing the first goal for the 10th time in 11 games. The Stars would follow the goal with chances of their own courtesy of Alexander Radulov and Tyer Pitlick, but nothing on the scoreboard to show for it.
The Stars ,with the exception of the power play, would play a pretty good period of hockey. Once again held scoreless, the Stars were shooting the puck more to start, and had their skating legs as opposed to their start in San Jose a few days ago. Bishop looked steady in net once again for the Stars, and Miller made some big stops for the Ducks.
Score: 1-0 Ducks
SOG: 10-4 Dallas
The Stars began the second period hemmed in their own end for the majority of the first five minutes of the period. However, the club did a good job of forcing the Ducks to run their offense from the outside of the rink, and only allowed 1 shot in that time. Bishop would come up with a potentially game-saving glove stop on an eye-to-eye chance for Corey Perry, who stared to the heavens after being denied.
The Ducks would find themselves back on the powerplay after Tyler Seguin would take a tripping penalty against Corey Perry. The power play would be the second of the game for the Ducks, and the Stars penalty kill would redeem themselves by killing it off easily.
The two teams would then trade chances from the mid way point of the period, with both teams coming close to beating the two net minders. The Stars would find themselves again in penalty trouble with Roussel taking his second minor penalty of the night. The power play for the Ducks would yield nothing on their third chance as the Stars would kill their second straight infraction.
Radulov would come close to undressing the entire Ducks team and looked to draw a penalty but to no avail. The Stars and Ducks would play a pretty even period of hockey, with the Stars making an effort to block more shots and keeping the game within easy striking distance.
Score: 1-0 Ducks
Sog: 17-12 Dallas
As Razor stated to begin the period, the Stars had “20 minutes to win a hockey game.” The Stars would press hard in the first minutes of the third and find themselves with three consecutive power plays, one on Fowler for tripping, and two straight delay of game penalties, but Miller would stand on his head.
Then disaster struck for the Stars as Bishop came out to challenge Ryan Getzlaf who would chip the puck over the Stars net minder and fire it into a wide open cage for a shorthanded tally, ultimately putting the game out of reach for the Stars.
They would keep the pressure looking for offense the rest of the third period and trying to solve Miller in the pipes. The Stars, however, would come up empty as Miller would pretty much beat the Stars by himself. At the end of the night, this game felt like a punch to the gut for the Stars as they came out with a better effort in spades in this one, but nothing to show for it.