Keeping opponents from scoring hasn’t come easy for the Dallas Stars, especially in the past two games.
The Stars also struggled to slow down their next opponent in the final two contests of their playoff series last season, including a stunning home loss that eliminated them.
In their first matchup since that victory, the Anaheim Ducks will try to reignite their offense Friday night while avoiding their first set of back-to-back road losses in the regular season in 11 months.
Dallas’ 32 goals allowed are among the most in the league and it’s given up at least four scores in four of nine games. The Stars yielded three goals in the third period in Saturday’s 7-5 loss at the New York Islanders and let St. Louis rally for a 4-3 overtime win Tuesday.
Dallas (4-2-3) blew a trio of one-goal leads to the Blues and coach Lindy Ruff blamed turnovers for the first two tying scores.
"Let’s make (opponents) earn their chances. Let’s not hand them their chances," he said.
After tying last season’s playoff series with Anaheim at 2-all with a pair of home wins, Ruff’s team squandered a chance for an upset. The Stars ended their first playoff appearance in six seasons by giving up 11 goals in the final two games with five of those scores coming in the third period.
Anaheim scored two goals in the final 2:10 of regulation in Game 6 on April 27 in Dallas, with Devante Smith-Pelly tying things up with 24 seconds to go. The Ducks then ended the series less than three minutes into the extra period.
They return to Dallas with two goals over the last three contests but managed a 1-0 victory in Chicago on Tuesday to start a four-game trip. They were then blanked for the first time this season Thursday, 2-0 by St. Louis.
Anaheim (8-3-0) totaled 11 of its 24 shots in the final two periods while ending a four-game road win streak.
"It’s a question of making sure we’re ready for game time. That’s twice in the past three games. Everybody has to be ready right off the bat," defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. "We know how Dallas plays at home. They’re a tough team to play against. As long as we play a full 60 minutes, we’ll be fine."
The Ducks scored 28 goals in their 7-1-0 start. Corey Perry had a league-best nine goals and three assists in those eight games, but doesn’t have a point in the last three.
Ryan Getzlaf is also pointless in the past three contests after also registering 12 in that red-hot start, matching the franchise’s second-most in the first 10 games of a season.
Facing the Stars could give the Ducks’ captain a chance to get back on the score sheet. He has five goals and 12 assists in his last 10 matchups, including the playoffs.
Perry had one goal and four assists in the final two contests in last season’s playoff series.
Dallas’ Jamie Benn registered a team-best four goals and an assist in the six-game postseason, and has 11 points during a seven-game streak (five goals, six assists).
Anaheim has dropped its last two regular-season games against the Stars, and its last road skid in the regular season began with a 6-3 defeat in Dallas on Nov. 26.