By Martin Iheke
The Anaheim Ducks took advantage of being at home by running away with a 6-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. The Ducks now lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2.
A lot of fireworks in this period as it was filled with penalties being committed all around. The first was committed by Stars forward Antoine Roussel which led to a power play goal scored by Ducks forward Nick Bonino to put his team up, 1-0. Then probably the dumbest penalty you can take occurred by Stars forward Ryan Garbutt when he speared Ducks forward Corey Perry which led to his dismissal from the game. The Ducks went on a five-minute power play, but Stars captain Jamie Benn scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game, 1-1. It would not stay tied long as Ducks forward Rickard Rakell would put his team back up, 2-1, with another power play goal. The Stars had a couple of power plays themselves but could not score while the Ducks scored twice. At the end of the period, the Stars had twelve shots to the Ducks’ nine.
Thanks to a bad penalty call for goalie interference on Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski, the Ducks took advantage of another power play opportunity when Ducks forward Mathieu Perreault scored to put the Ducks up, 3-1. The Stars would get a couple of more power play opportunities including a two-man advantage, but could not score. About midway through the period, Stars forward Shawn Horcoff scored to cut the Ducks lead to, 3-2. The period ended with the Stars having sixteen shots to the Ducks’ 10.
The Ducks simply owned this period as forwards Jakob Silfverberg, Ryan Getzalf and Corey Perry scored a goal each to put the game away. The Stars had eight shots in the period to the Ducks’ four. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was replaced by backup goalie Tim Thomas to finish the game. The Ducks did score on their lone power play while the Stars could not score on a four-minute power play.
Stars Players’ Reactions
“I thought our second period was pretty good,” Jamie Benn said according to dallasnews.com. “We came in here, tried to regroup and come out with the same but they jumped on us early. We took a stupid penalty, and that was it,” as he continued.
“It’s been physical,” Shawn Horcoff said according to dallasnews.com. “I think once the game got a little bit out of hand, little scrums like that are going to happen and that’s when the penalties are going to mount. It’s been a physical series, that’s for certain,” as he continued.
“I thought we reacted great to it,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said talking about penalties/physicality according to dallasnews.com. “The second period, we just utterly dominated. We hit post, we hit crossbar. Spent the whole time down in there end. It’s tough. We lost the special teams battle which was the difference tonight,” as he continued.
This is probably a game the Stars would like to quickly trash. To say the special teams for the Stars were a complete disaster might be putting that mildly on my part. The biggest difference in this game was the Ducks were able to score four power play goals on six opportunities while the Stars did not on seven opportunities. You are not going to win many games especially on the road in the playoffs doing this. Kari Lehtonen was terrible. He needed to come up with some big saves to keep his team in it and in the third period, did not do that. He has to figure out how to play better on the road in the postseason or the Stars cannot win this series or any other without home-ice advantage. Ryan Garbutt did not do his team any favors by spearing Corey Perry to get himself kicked out of the game. It will be interesting to see if Ruff considers scratching him for Game 6 which will be played at the AAC on Sunday night as the Stars try to force a Game 7.
Series to Date
Game 1: Ducks 4 Stars 3 – Ducks Lead 1-0
Game 2: Ducks 3 Stars 2 – Ducks Lead 2-0
Game 3: Stars 3 Ducks 0 – Ducks Lead 2-1
Game 4: Stars 4 Ducks 2 – Series Even 2-2
Game 5: Ducks 6 Stars 2 – Ducks Lead 3-2
4/27 Ducks vs Stars 7:00 pm
4/29 Stars vs Ducks TBD *If Necessary