Dallas Stars: Jonas Hiller
DALLAS -- The Anaheim Ducks are moving on to the second round of the playoffs after coming back to beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 in Game 6 in Dallas on Sunday.
How it happened: The Stars scored three goals in the first period to take control early. Dallas scored its first power-play goal since Game 2 and Ryan Garbutt's goal with 59 seconds left in the period gave the Stars a two-goal cushion. For the second straight game in Dallas, Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen watched the end from the bench. He was pulled midway through the second period (he was pulled in the third period of Game 4 in Dallas) and replaced by Jonas Hiller for the remainder of the game. Daley's second goal of the game, at 10:33 of the second period, put the Stars up by two goals for the second time. It stayed that way until Nick Bonino scored with Hiller on the bench in favor of an extra skater with 2:10 left in the game. Anaheim pulled Hiller again in the final minute and off a huge scrum in front of the Stars' net, goalie Kari Lehtonen lost his stick and moments later lost sight of the puck. Devante Smith-Pelly found it just outside the crease and floated it top shelf to tie the score with 22 seconds left.
What it means: Anaheim wins the series 4-2, scoring three unanswered goals to do it. The Ducks went through a goalie change, seemingly little momentum and a loud road crowd and found a way to get it done. It also avoids any thoughts of last season, when they lost to Detroit in Game 6 and then fell at home in Game 7 in the first round.
Players of the game: Jonas Hiller and Nick Bonino. He came in midway through the second period and didn't let anything by him. Despite a bunch of scoring chances and play going on in front of him, Hiller kept the Ducks within range, and they used late-third-period heroics to get the game to OT. Without Hiller's steady play in substitute duty, the Ducks aren't in the game to win it in overtime. Bonino scored the third goal of the game to get the Ducks within one and then deposited the winner in overtime.
Stat of the game: Three goals were scored in the final five minutes of the game by the Ducks to win it. The Ducks were relentless down the stretch. They pulled the goalie twice to score the tying goals, and then Anaheim got the one shot it needed to win the series.
What's next: Anaheim moves on to the second round and awaits the winner of the San Jose-Los Angeles series. The Sharks and Kings play Game 6 on Monday.
The Ducks had an 8-6 shots advantage in the first period, but the Stars had some good chances. An Adam Burish backhand chance was turned away by Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller. The Anaheim goalie also made a nice stop on a point blank chance by Loui Eriksson. Steve Ott had a great chance from the left circle late in the period, but his shot hit the post.
There were no power plays in the period.
Special teams were big in the second period. The Stars went 1-3 on the power play and the Ducks went -0-2.
The Stars opened the scoring early in the second period, taking advantage of back-to-back penalties on the Ducks. Just as a 35 second five-on-three power play expired, Jamie Benn sent a cross-crease pass to Brenden Morrow who put the puck into the open side of the net at the 2:37 mark.
The Ducks had a couple of power play chances, but were unable to take advantage.
The Stars outshot the Ducks 9-6 in the second and had a 15-14 advantage going into the second intermission.
The Ducks had their third power play chance of the night five minutes into the third, but got only one shot on goal.
Lehtonen had a nice stop later in the period on a Niklas Hagman close range bid with the two teams playing at even-strength.
The Ducks went on a fourth power play with 5:16 remaining, but it lasted only five seconds as Teemu Selanne was called for holding on the right off the faceoff.
Hiller kept the Ducks close, making great stops on Loui Eriksson, Vernon Fiddler and Eric Nystrom, but with Hiller out for the extra attacker Michael Ryder scored into the empty net with 46 seconds left to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.
Injured: Souray (lower body)
Scratched: Petersen, Dowell, Garbutt
This weekend’s games in Anaheim and Los Angeles were seen as big tests for the Dallas Stars and they passed the first one, winning 3-1 in Anaheim behind 35 saves from Kari Lehtonen and two goals and one assist from Loui Eriksson.
Mike Ribeiro also scored and Jamie Benn chipped in two assists for the Stars, who won their fifth straight game and improved to 6-1-0 on the season. The 6-1-0 record ties the franchise mark for best record after seven games, equaling the record set in 1996-97 and 2006-07.
"Every point we get is huge. Early in the season we've got to take advantage of that,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “We've got to make sure we are ready to play every night. We're rolling four lines and six D and we're just trying to get on top of things right now."
The Stars were outshot 36-19, but they used a familiar formula to pick up two points: Lehtonen made the saves and the guys in front of him made the most of their chances.
“Kari is doing such a good job in net for us, making some really key saves,” said Eriksson, who has five goals in the last five games. “That’s always nice to have that confidence in him and then score on the opportunities that we get.”
The Stars got off to a quick start, scoring on their first shot just 13 seconds into the game. After Steve Ott dumped the puck into the Anaheim zone, Eriksson got to the puck, backhanded it on net from a sharp angle and the puck got past Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller.
“We came out pretty good on that first goal there, putting it on the net. We got a bounce,” said Gulutzan. “That’s important on the road. That gave us a little energy.”
The Stars extended the lead to 2-0 at the 7:40 mark when Ribeiro dropped the puck to Alex Goligoski with Dallas on the rush, went to the net and scored on the rebound after Goligoski put a shot on goal from the high slot.
The Ducks controlled the second period. They had a power play goal waved off 4:17 into the period when Corey Perry was penalized for goaltender interference. They did finally score with a tenth of a second left when Perry whipped the puck into the net after a Cam Fowler shot rebounded off the endboards with the Ducks on a power play.
But the Stars got their two-goal lead back early in the third when Benn got to a puck behind the Anaheim net and centered it to Eriksson, who scored from the top of the crease at 1:42 of the period to put the Stars up 3-1.
Lehtonen and the Stars shut it down the rest of the way.
“I thought today was a little bit of a step forward as far as the way we want to play and what we need to do to put ourselves in position to have success,” said Gulutzan. “It’s a process and we’re getting better and better, but we’ve still got a ways to go.”
*Goaltender Kari Lehtonen’s six-game winning streak to start the season is the longest in team history since 1993-94.
*Steve Ott ran his points streak to six games (two goals, four assists).
*Loui Eriksson ran his points streak to five games (five goals, two assists)
*Jamie Benn ran his points streak to three games (one goal, four assists)
*Adam Pardy, Toby Petersen and Tom Wandell were healthy scratches for the Stars.
Arthur, at Anahiem Calling, answered some questions for me about the Ducks to help prepare you for tonight's game.
Q: Give us a quick scouting report on the Ducks. These teams just saw each other, but overall, how are things going in Anaheim?
A: The Ducks are finally playing well through 60 minutes, but they are finding themselves undermined by even fleeting lapses in concentration. The last game in Dallas, where Anaheim let in an own-goal off a skate and a goal Jiggy lost in his pads, pretty much sums up the season.
A: Size is a big part of it. For Perry, it seems to be a source of confidence. He moves the puck toward the net until you stop him, and that makes it very dangerous to give him any kind of room out there. For Getzlaf, his play flows from his physicality and his snarl. He can take over a game with his size, whether muscling the puck along the boards, pushing past defenders or unleashing that monstrous shot. And both guys have a complete toolkit, despite their size. They can pass, score, skate and stickhandle as well as any more 'compact' skater.
Q: What's the latest on Teemu Selane's injury?
A: They performed the surgery as scheduled, and the recovery timetable is 4-6 weeks.
Q: Which young Ducks player or players has the brightest future?
A: It would probably be Bobby Ryan. Contract negotiations aren't going well enough for me to say that that future will be with the Ducks, but he certainly has the most impressive skillset amongst our rookies. The Ducks' power play is third in the league. What makes them so good?
Teemu Selanne. He has been a power play machine since the lockout, and he started this season on fire. Without Teemu, we still have Scott Niedermayer's roving, an accurate point shot from James Wisniewski, bombs from the blueline from Ryan Whitney/Nick Boynton and the all-around quarterbacking ability of Ryan Getzlaf.
Q: How is the penalty kill?
A: It has gotten better. Assistant Coach Dave Farrish spent the early part of the season trying out new penalty killers, and that tanked the overall numbers. Since then, the coaching staff has turned to a new penalty killing system, boxing out the play more. Obviously, that's more susceptible to passing, but the Ducks have been very successful
Q: Can you tell us about Jonas Hiller, who it appears will be in nets tonight?
A: Despite being a pupil of Francois Allaire, Jonas Hiller likes to move, he likes to guess. He's rarely down early, hoping the puck will hit him. He tries to make the athletic save instead of the positional save as often as possible. That is certainly something teams can exploit with cross ice passes, quick shots through traffic or by just generally reducing his ability to track the puck.
Q: Anything else Stars fans should know about the Ducks and this game?
A: It should start to feel like a series after tonight's game. These teams will play each other once more this month, but not again until after the Olympics. Hard to depict anything tonight as a standings battle, but there is still plenty of reason for things to get chippy.