Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky Ducks. Dallas Stars Game 26: 2-1 Shootout Loss to the Anaheim Ducks

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The Dallas Stars suffered their first home loss to a Pacific Division opponent this season when the Anaheim Ducks earned a 2-1 shootout victory Thursday night.

The Stars have now lost the first two matches (0-1-1) of the current 4-game home stand. It was a fast-paced, heavy-shooting goalie duel, and it took a disallowed goal and three rounds of a shootout to decide the winner.

Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves and Jonas Hiller stopped 33 shots, and both teams blocked 20 shots in the game. Both teams failed to score on the power play. The Stars were 0-for-5 and the Ducks were 0-for-3.

Dallas took the lead 12:35 into the first period on a play that began with Lehtonen cutting off a Teemu Selanne forecheck and sending the puck to the right wing boards. Loui Eriksson collected the puck and skated it out of the zone and to the Anaheim blue line. He passed to Ray Whitney on his left who then dropped the puck back for Alex Goligoski. Goligoski shot the puck, but it hit Eriksson in front of the net as he fell. Whitney was in position to backhand the puck over Hiller’s glove and into the net.

Andrew Cogliano tied the game 7:28 into the second period when he was left alone in front of the Stars net to shoot on Lehtonen and then score on his own rebound.  

With 9:33 left in the second period, Whitney shot the puck at Hiller. Hiller went down on his knees to cover the puck, but it bounced off his stick and back out in front of him. Derek Roy was skating to the goal and put the puck into the back of the net, but it was waved off by the referee. The referee had blown his whistle when the puck bounced of Hiller because he thought Hiller had covered the puck and secured it.

It would prove to not be the Stars’ night when both Reilly Smith and Jaromir Jagr both shot pucks that bounced off the upper portion of the right post, off the crossbar and out.

Lehtonen stopped Selanne’s shootout attempt, but Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf both scored similar goals to give the Ducks the win. They skated in nearly straight at Lehtonen, took the puck to their left and lifted a backhand shot into the net. Eriksson’s shootout attempt was stopped by Hiller and Whitney’s attempt went wide of the right post.

The Stars continue their home stand Saturday night against the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks. 

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