After looking rather lackluster in their last two games, the Dallas Stars shined bright tonight, kicking off their penultimate road trip with a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. It was notably Miro Heiskanen’s first game back after an 11 game absence over most of March.
They took the lead in the first period with a Radek Faksa goal off the rush, but fell behind in the second after giving up two goals before the halfway mark. The Stars began to heat up after that, but John Gibson was incredible in net, stopping everything sent his way.
But Gibson is only human — Jason Robertson setup Roope Hintz for the game tying goal a little more than eight minutes into the third. A few minutes later, the Swedes worked their magic as John Klingberg setup Jacob Peterson for a breakaway goal to take the lead. Dallas then continued to apply pressure on the Ducks until Gibson was pulled for the extra attacker, at which point they buckled down and held on to the lead.
The win puts Dallas back ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights for the second Wild Card spot by a single point, although with three games in hand. Dallas will try and pad that lead when they faceoff against the Ducks again this Thursday at 9:00 PM CT.
It took a couple minutes for either team to get any offense going. Four minutes in, Tyler Seguin tripped Urho Vaakanainen to send Anaheim on the powerplay, but Sonny Milano soon held Luke Glendening on a shorthanded breakaway to give us 4-on-4 instead. All that resulted in was a Vaakanainen breakaway, but he couldn’t slip anything past Oettinger.
Dallas failed to score on the brief power play that followed, after which the team traded some scoring chances back and forth. Troy Terry went to the box for slashing Miro Heiskanen roughly 11 minutes in, giving Dallas a full length power play in which they, unsurprisingly, managed only a single shot on goal.
But then, less than a minute later, Glendening setup Radek Faksa all alone up front, and Faksa undressed John Gibson en route to the first goal of the evening:
Jacob Peterson fed Alexander Radulov off the rush with less than a minute left, but he hit the post (Gibson might have stopped it anyways), keeping the score at 1-0 at the end of one.
Score: Dallas 1, Anaheim 0
Shots: Dallas 9, Anaheim 7
The Ducks put the pressure on Jake Oettinger early to start the second period. It quickly paid off when Derek Grant tried a cross-crease pass that ended up deflecting off of Esa Lindell’s skate and into the net. Then, roughly halfway through, Terry sniped one past Oettinger on the rush, giving Anaheim the lead.
Dallas began to bite back after that, earning a couple of scoring chances that unfortunately went wide. Their best chance came when Michael Raffl was all alone with a relatively open net, but Gibson robbed him with a glove save. A couple minutes later, a loose puck in front of the Ducks net gave some hope, but ultimately didn’t result in anything.
Gibson might have stolen another one with a few minutes left when a cross-ice pass went off of Joe Pavelski’s skate towards the net, but it would have likely been deemed a kicking motion. Dallas got another couple chances, including another Peterson feed to Radulov that hit the post with less than a minute left, but to no avail.
Score: Dallas 1, Anaheim 2
Shots: Dallas 19, Anaheim 16
The two teams traded scoring opportunities to start the third, including a trio of consecutive shots by Anaheim that Oettinger was able to stop. Andrej Sustr went to the box for tripping Peterson five minutes in, and although the Stars actually managed several scoring chances on the ensuing power play, they weren’t able to get the puck past Gibson.
But a minute and a half (and a commercial break) later, Jason Robertson setup Roope Hitnz in front of the net, and No. 24 effortlessly sniped one into the net to tie things up:
A couple minutes later, the Stars saw some lengthy time in the offensive zone, followed by an exchange of turnovers that resulted in this beauty from John Klingberg and Peterson, who slipped one past Gibson to finally get on the scoresheet:
In a surprising break from the norm, Dallas continued to generate offense after taking the lead. Hintz almost scored again after a defensive zone turnover by the Ducks, but Gibson suffocated the puck. Anaheim wouldn’t get consistent offensive zone time until after they pulled Gibson with less than two minutes left, but the Stars’ defense stayed strong and held on for the win.
Final Score: Dallas 3, Anaheim 2
Final Shots: Dallas 32, Anaheim 28