Dallas Stars 2 - Anaheim Ducks 5
Sometimes, it just seems that everything just doesn't go your way. From the outset of this game, it was clear that this just wasn't the Stars night. They were unlucky in the first period, bad in the second and a tease in the third.
In all honesty, Dallas could've been leading this game 4-1 after the first ten minutes but the puck just wouldn't go into the net. Things got off to an ominous start when Saku Koivu scored on a wild deflection that somehow made its way past Kari Lehtonen. I'm sure though that most people just waved that aside though. The Ducks were starting their third/fourth string goalie afterall and were 11-6-4 when scoring first, a record that puts them among the bottom five in the league.
The only problem? Jeff Deslauriers had some kind force field that Stars couldn't get past. Jamie Benn and Nick Grossman both hit posts and Benn alone had four great chances to score a goal in the first ten minutes of the game. Heck, he could've had a hat trick within the first five minutes but alas, supernatural forces just would not let it happen.
Dallas just dominated the first period. They commanded possession of the puck, outshot the ducks and tripled the number of scoring chances but that damn puck just wouldn't go into the net.
After that first period, the Stars just looked dejected, lost and out of the game. It didn't help that the refs missed an obvious icing call that led to a Ducks goal. Anaheim had shot the puck into the Stars zone from behind the center stripe. The first two players near the puck, one Star and one Duck (I couldn't remember who), skated close to it but they both missed the puck.
Alex Goligoski ended up touching the puck first and did one of those typical throw the puck off the boards things that one does when they ice the puck. The Dallas players on the ice kind of let up after that, expecting an icing call but it never came. Luca Sbisa ended up snagging the puck off the boards and shot a long one that hit the top corner of the net.
Stars fans got their hopes up in third period, needlessly though, when Steve Ott and Goligoski scored within a minute of eachother to start to the third. The world had been righted, things were going how they should, and I'm sure most were expecting Dallas to be able to pull this one out. The team proved once again however that this year will be one of the most frustrating years in recent memory for any Stars fan.
Anaheim just completely dominated the game after Dallas scored those two goals. Koivu ended up with a hat trick (Saku freaking Koivu) with two more goals in the third and some dude named Matt Beleskey scored the first goal of his season.
I just don't understand this team. In the past couple of weeks they have lost to the two worst teams in the league (Columbus and Anaheim) and beat the best (Boston). There's no consistency, no sustained play from the team as a whole. They have individuals that have played well in stretches but these guys just aren't clicking as a whole. In a race as tight as it is this year for a playoff spot, games against teams like the Ducks and Blue Jackets are one that you absolutely cannot lose.
Since November 11, Dallas has had only one three-game winning streak. No consistency.
Dallas gets a chance to right the ship again on Thursday night against the LA Kings. The Kings are actually a good team so who knows, maybe the Stars will actually show up.
- Sheldon Souray made his way back into the lineup and ehhhhhh maybe that wasn't such a good idea. Souray had 14:14 of ice time, one penalty, no hits and no shots on goal. He just didn't look ready to come back from his injury but the fact that he was coupled with Adam Pardy just proved to be a disaster. Those two couldn't get out of their way and totally botched up assignments that led to Ducks third goal. On a two-on-two rush, both guys went with the guy heading to the net and left Koivu wide open for an easy goal.
- The power-play sucks again. It looks useless out there and has gone 0-10 in the last four games and 2 of 27 in the last nine. It might be time to just start declining penalties and asking the opposing team to just not commit another one.
- I hope Lehtonen was still dealing with the flu because he didn't look so great in this game. He seemed to have some trouble getting his eyes on the puck. Some of those goals would have been stopped if Lehtonen was up to his usual work.
- The Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak line might finally be returning to earth. Those three guys haven't recorded a point between them since the December 29 game against the Blue Jackets and Nystrom only has two goals (and no assists) in his last month of play. With injuries moving through the top lines on this team, it might be time to do a little shifting on this one. Switching Dvorak for Adam Burish seems like the logical choice.
- Steve Ott. Amazing in the face-off circle in this game, though it didn't do a lot of good for the team. Ott won 14 of the 15 face-offs he took.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary:
|Power Plays||0 of 3
||0 of 3
- 1:30 - Saku Koivu (7) Dallas 0 - Anaheim 1
Assist: Toni Lydman
- 9:22 - Luca Sbisa (2) Dallas 0 - Anaheim 2
- 1:39 - Steve Ott (7) Dallas 1 - Anaheim 2
Assists: Michael Ryder, Nicklas Grossman
- 2:43 - Alex Goligoski (4) Dallas 2 - Anaheim 2
Assists: Steve Ott, Jamie Benn
- 9:32 - Saku Koivu (8) Dallas 2 - Anaheim 3
Assists: Teemu Selanne, Francois Beauchemin
- 14:40 - Matt Beleskey (1) Dallas 2 - Anaheim 4
Assist: Andrew Cogliano
- 19:06 - Saku Koivu (9) Dallas 2 - Anaheim 5
Assists: Teemu Selanne, Niklas Hagman