Stars go for back-to-back wins Thursday against Ducks
By ALAN FERGUSON
Coming off a win over one of the Western Conference’s top teams, the
Dallas Stars try to beat one of the worst and post back-to-back
victories for the first time in a month as they host the Anaheim Ducks
on Thursday night.
Dallas (17-11-11) had
lost five of six before winning three of its last five games, including
Tuesday night’s 5-4 home victory over Chicago.
It matched the most goals scored this season against the Blackhawks,
who are tied for the best record in the West. Steve Ott scored the
game-winner with 15:53 to play, and he matched a career high for points
with two goals and an assist.
gave up at least three goals for a fifth straight start but stopped all
11 shots he faced in the final period with the help of five blocked
shots by teammates.
“They played with their
bodies on the line,” coach Marc Crawford said. “It was their
determination and desire to win. It was a great job by a lot of
players. There weren’t any passengers tonight.”
A similar effort Thursday could result in Dallas winning consecutive
games for the first time since Nov. 21-23 against New Jersey and
Carolina. That’s one of only two times the Stars have won back-to-back
contests all season.
A big reason for their
struggles has been a drop-off in scoring. After netting at least four
goals nine times in its first 13 games, Dallas has reached that mark
just five times in the past 26 contests, getting limited to two or
fewer in 15 games during that span.
However, the Stars have scored at least three in each of their three
matchups with the Ducks (16-16-7) this season. Dallas won the first two
meetings but lost the last one, 4-3 in overtime at Anaheim on Dec. 8.
Ott has two goals and two assists in the season series, and in the only
meeting in Dallas, he scored the go-ahead goal in a 3-1 victory Dec. 3.
The center’s 17 career points against the Ducks are his most versus one
The Stars have allowed four or
more goals in five of their last seven games, but they’re facing an
opponent which may not have one of its top scorers.
Ryan Getzlaf, tied with Corey Perry for the team lead with 41 points,
cut his right leg with his own skate during Saturday’s 5-2 loss at San
Jose and missed Tuesday’s 4-2 home victory over Minnesota.
It was the first time Getzlaf missed a game this season, but Bobby Ryan
stepped up to match a career high with three points – two goals and an
“We’ve been in desperation mode
for 10-15 games,” Ryan said. “We came out hard tonight and the guys
were prepared. When a guy like Getz goes down, it really impacts
everybody around the room. So some guys have to step up.”
Ryan leads Anaheim with 19 goals and has a shot to make the United
States’ Olympic team, which will be announced Friday. Getzlaf, Perry
and Scott Niedermayer were named to the Canadian squad Wednesday, while
teammates Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu were selected to Finland’s team.
Despite all of that talent, the Ducks have been very inconsistent
offensively. They’ve split their last six games, scoring a combined
three goals in the three losses and netting four in each of the three
Anaheim has dropped three of four on the road and is facing a Stars team that is 7-1-2 at home since Nov. 21.
Received 12/30/09 03:21 pm ET