Both goaltenders gave up goals after mishandling the puck behind their respective nets. Marty Turco got the victory despite his blunder. Jonas Hiller wasn’t so fortunate.
Defenseman Trevor Daley scored his first goal of the season on a power play and James Neal set up goals by Loui Eriksson and Brenden Morrow, leading the Dallas Stars to a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
Turco made 24 saves for the Stars, who were missing Mike Modano (rib), Jere Lehtinen (abdominal soreness) and Brad Richards (groin). Steve Ott added an empty-net goal with 9 seconds to play.
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“I thought the first two periods were pretty close to the best two periods we’ve played,” coach Marc Crawford said. Our pressure was terrific and we really attacked well. Marty made a couple of really good saves, and we got some spirited play from a lot of players tonight. If we can bottle those types of efforts, we will win lots of hockey games.”
Ryan Getzlaf and Joffrey Lupul scored for Anaheim. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was in an understandably sour mood after the game, hinting that some changes were going to be made. However, he wouldn’t get into specifics.
“The things I have in mind I’d like to keep private at this point,” said Carlyle, whose team has been outshot in seven of its first eight games. “I don’t think it’s the time to talk about those things. I’m still frustrated and not very happy about the outcome of the hockey game and the way we played.
“We didn’t compete hard enough to give ourselves enough of a chance,” Carlyle added. “You can’t play 20 minutes of hockey and win in the NHL. We were down 3-0 in our building until the third period. We played with some desperation, but you have to play with some desperation from the opening faceoff.”
Dallas outshot Anaheim 16-5 in the first period. Hiller stopped all eight shots during a pair of power plays, but Eriksson opened the scoring at 14:01 on a rebound.
The Stars made it 2-0 at 4:17 of the second. Hiller went behind his net to clear the puck, but it hopped off his stick and Mike Ribeiro fed it out in front to Morrow, who sent a quick wrist shot past Hiller’s left leg just as the goalie scrambled back to the crease.
“We have a call – a goalie call – to either leave the puck or play it over,” Carlyle explained. “The disturbing part about is that we had a defenseman go stand beside the other defenseman, waiting for the puck. Our goalie turned it over – or they stole it from our goalie – and there was nobody within 10 feet of Morrow. So that’s a miscommunication.”
Daley scored Dallas’ third goal at 8:53 of the second, beating Hiller high to the glove side with a snap shot from about 30 feet after getting a cross-ice pass from Neal.
“It was great to step up and get a goal when we needed one,” Daley said. “It has been a slow start for me, so I was happy go get on the board tonight.”
Ott, who was activated from injured reserve after missing four games with a strained oblique muscle, also got an assist on Daley’s goal. The Stars were 0 for 12 on the power play in their previous three games.
The Ducks, coming off their second shutout loss in three games, were getting outshot 27-11 before Getzlaf put them on the board at 17:52 of the second. The goal ended a season-opening seven-game drought for Getzlaf, which matched his longest of 2008-09.
“We didn’t start playing until the third period, and that’s not acceptable in this league,” Getzlaf said. “You’ve got 82 games, and you’ve got to learn to get up for all of them. We’ve definitely got the tools in here. Maybe we’re lacking that focus a little bit, and we’ve got to find it.”
Anaheim scored its second goal with 11:25 remaining, after Turco made a poor clearing pass behind the net with Getzlaf on the forecheck. Corey Perry intercepted the puck in the right corner and fed it in front to Lupul, who fanned on the one-timer, but it caromed off the leg of Dallas defenseman Karlis Skrastins and trickled between Turco’s legs.
“You never want to sit on a lead, but you’ve got a team that played two really bad periods and they were coming pretty hard, so we had no choice than to sit back,” Daley said. “The first two periods was not typical of that team over there. They took it to us in the third, but we were able to stay with it and get the win.”
Hiller finished with 34 saves, after getting pulled in the second period of last Saturday’s 5-0 loss at St. Louis.
NOTES: Morrow, who underwent reconstructive surgery on his right knee in December and is still playing with a brace, appeared in his 600th NHL regular-season game. Ducks C Saku Koivu played in his 800th NHL contest. … Anaheim D James Wisniewski returned to the lineup after missing three games with a sprained right shoulder and got an assist on Getzlaf’s goal. C Ryan Carter was scratched after getting hit in the foot with a shot during the morning skate. X-rays were negative. … Dallas LW Francis Wathier made his NHL debut after getting recalled from Texas of the AHL and got into a fight with Mike Brown at 3:02 of the second period.