Oct 31, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler (17) and Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) take a face-off in the third period at American Airlines Center. Anaheim beat Dallas 2-1 in overtime.
Tim Heitman/Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
DALLAS — Anaheim Ducks top scorer Corey Perry seems to sort of relish the role as villain at American Airlines Center against the Dallas Stars. And on a night where Perry, who now leads the NHL with 10 goals, was again showered with a reign of boos and a "Perry Sucks" chant at regular intervals, he got the last laugh with a goal and an assist on the game-winner in overtime as the Ducks edged the Stars 2-1 at the AAC on Halloween.
The Stars now fall to 1-4 in overtime games, a trend that is a bit ghoulish to say the least.
"It’s tough. It’s something we’ve got to address and take care of it," longtime Stars defenseman Trevor Daley said. "We did a good job coming back and getting it into overtime."
Dallas was facing an Anaheim team that looked a bit ragged, especially in the third period after a 2-0 loss in Chicago on Thursday night to the Blackhawks.
But instead of jumping on the Ducks early as Stars head coach Lindy Ruff advised they would try to do after an optional morning skate, the game was scoreless after one.
And after Dallas mustered just one shot in the middle frame, Anaheim took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission after Perry whistled a slapshot past Lehtonen from the right circle with 3:15 remaining in the period.
Ruff felt that performance by the Stars in the middle 20 minutes ranked as one of the worst he’s seen in his year-plus as head coach in Big D.
"Flatter than flat. I think it was the worst period of hockey we’ve played in this building since I’ve been here. That’s my analogy," Ruff said.
The Stars did tie it in the third when Antoine Roussel scored on a tip-in, but Ruff summed up the night perfectly with the following quote in his postgame media scrum.
"We were below flat, if you ask me. Pretty disappointed," Ruff said.
And disappointing doesn’t begin to describe the Stars’ performance on the power play in this tough loss to their old nemesis the Ducks. Dallas went 0-for-6 with the man advantage on Friday night.
If that wasn’t bad enough in itself, the Stars generated just two shots on those six power plays, something that Sir Charles would call "ter-u-bull".
"Once again, embarrassing. We need to get one, maybe win the game there," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "It’s got to be a different tilt there, and you’ve got to work as units of five and make a difference in a hockey game like tonight."
But if there is a silver lining in what ended up being a complete debacle from the Dallas end, besides the point they picked up at home, it’s that the Stars get a rather quick chance to redeem themselves as they finish out the back-to-back on Saturday night at the Minnesota Wild.
Sometimes getting back on the ice the following night is the best way to put a game like this behind you. We’ll see if that’s the case tomorrow night in the Twin Cities.