Ducks can’t catch Stars in loss
DALLAS (AP) — The Stars finally got their power play going. Twice in one period, in fact.
After managing just one goal in 16 opportunities over the previous five games, the Stars got goals from Trevor Daley and Jamie Benn on the man-advantage in the first period, en route to a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
“Just keep working on it, watching some video, working on it in practice,” Benn said of the power-play unit’s success. “I think it just comes down to shooting pucks and keeping it simple and I think we did that tonight.”
After building an early 2-0 lead, Loui Eriksson sealed the win with a third-period score when he corralled Alex Goligoski’s cross-ice pass and fired a wrist shot past Anaheim goaltender Viktor Fasth with 7:14 remaining.
Goligoski, who was a healthy scratch Wednesday in Edmonton, added two assists for Dallas (6-5-1), which earned its third consecutive win.
Nick Bonino scored for the Ducks (7-2-1), who had won four in a row. It was the first regulation road loss this season for Anaheim.
“I want them to know that they didn’t come ready to play and what happens when you play good hockey clubs and you’re not ready to play,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It was a disappointing first period. I don’t think the rest of the game was disappointing, but you can’t win hockey games playing 40 minutes. It’s a 60-minute game.”
Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller left after the first period with a lower body injury. He made 14 saves, and Fasth finished with 11 stops.
“He wasn’t feeling very well so we made the change,” said Boudreau, who added that they wouldn’t know the severity until Hiller was fully evaluated.
Dallas also outshot Anaheim 28-21, marking the first time this season that it had outshot an opponent.
“We had a good third,” said Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan, whose club allowed just one shot against in the final period. “We limited our turnovers, we played smart hockey and it’s another little step for us and the way we have to play for us to be successful.”
Daley was strong at the other end as well, disrupting two breakaways. He helped stop Corey Perry in the first period, resulting in an easy save for Kari Lehtonen, and Kyle Palmieri didn’t even get a shot off on his opportunity in the second.
Lehtonen was excellent in goal, making 20 saves.
The Ducks cut the Stars’ lead to 2-1 with 4:37 remaining in the second period when Bonino scored for the fourth time this season, re-directing Luca Sbisa’s booming slap shot over Lehtonen’s shoulder.
Anaheim nearly tied it just over a minute later, but Lehtonen gloved Daniel Winnik’s backhander on a 3-on-1 rush.
“It was something you don’t want to see, three against one, but I got a little lucky there, I was able to make a good stop,” said Lehtonen, who is 5-1-0 against the Ducks with two shutouts over the last two seasons. “I think that helped everybody. I was real happy with that.”
Added Boudreau: “That would have made it 2-2. I think it would have been a different game.”
Dallas got off to a fast start, outshooting the Ducks 8-1 through the first seven minutes, and drawing the first power play when Brad Staubitz was sent off for roughing.
Daley capitalized at 8:48 when his slap shot from the point found its way through a screen and squeezed under Hiller’s arm. Shortly afterward, frustrations bubbled over after Stephane Robidas’ slash on Perry went undetected by the officials, incensing Perry and resulting in a fight between the two at 11:02.
“When he sticks his stick out, pulls it, I don’t know what you call that. It’s spearing to me,” said Perry of the play. “You’ve just got to call the first one and that … doesn’t happen.”
Staubitz then speared Dallas rookie Brenden Dillon in the groin at 12:34, earning a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
“What do you want me to say? Good refs have bad games,” Boudreau said of the penalty. “Like good hockey players have bad games, good refs have bad games. A spear, if you’re going to do that then Robidas got a spear on Perry and nothing was called. So what are you going to do?”
It took the Stars just 25 seconds to cash in on the extra-man opportunity, with Benn collecting his fourth goal in the last three games.
“It was big,” Benn said. “I thought we stayed disciplined in not retaliating on that penalty and it won us the game.”
NOTES: D Ben Lovejoy, acquired Wednesday in a trade with Pittsburgh for a fifth-round draft choice in 2014, made his Ducks debut. In 16:20 of ice time, he registered a team-high four shots on goal. … After tallying the only goal in the second period, Anaheim has outscored opponents 12-4 in middle periods this season, while Dallas has been outscored 15-8. … The Ducks have outscored opponents 23-13 during 5-on-5 play this season, the best differential in the NHL. … Dallas has now won seven of the last eight meetings between the Pacific Division rivals.