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Ducks sneak past Stars in shootout thriller

The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- Ryan Getzlaf's backhand into the left side of the net in the shootout gave the Anaheim Ducks (20-3-3, 43 points) a 2-1 shootout win over the Dallas Stars (12-11-3, 27 points) before 15,775 at American Airlines Center.

"It (winning in Dallas) feels good, that's what we want to do," Getzlaf said. "We got some bounces tonight that could have been goals and our penalty kill did a great job keeping us in, and the goaltending was good. Those are games that feel really good to win as a team, especially with a guy like Perry out of the lineup. The guys did a great job tightening up defensively."

After Bobby Ryan also beat Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen with a backhand on the Ducks' first shootout attempt, the Stars' Loui Eriksson saw his attempt saved by Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller. The Ducks' Teemu Selanne then fired a seven-foot wrister over the Dallas net on Anaheim's second attempt before Ray Whitney 12-foot wrister sailed wide. Getzlaf then hit the ice, drove toward the Dallas net and put the puck almost in the same spot as Ryan for the game-winner.

Dallas had scored first at 12:35 of the opening period when Ray Whitney lifted a deflection off teammate Loui Eriksson's skate into the top of the Anaheim net for his third goal of the season. Dallas' Alex Goligoski took the initial shot, which ricocheted off the right skate of Eriksson, who was driving toward the Ducks goal. Whitney collected the carom near the left post and quickly flipped it in with a backhand to give the Stars the lead.

Just 4:25 into the second period, Anaheim's Luca Sbisa and the Stars' Vernon Fiddler squared off near center ice. Sbisa had boarded Dallas' Ryan Garbutt near the blue line and Fiddler went after Sbisa to take up for his teammate. Sbisa and Fiddler each earned five-minute fighting majors but Fiddler also received a minor penalty for roughing for starting the scrum.

A 14-foot wrister by Anaheim's Teemu Selanne from the left side of the Dallas goal at 5:07 of the second period struck Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen in the right shoulder and the officials thought the puck might have crossed the goal line. However, after a quick review, officials ruled the puck did not cross the line and it was called no goal.

However, Anaheim tied it up at 7:28 when Cogliano collected his own rebound after Lehtonen denied his initial effort and popped an eight-foot backhand into the right side of the Dallas net. Cogliano had received a great pass from Peter Holland in front of the Stars goal and after Lehtonen made a pad save on his 10-foot wrister he secured the rebound for his 10th of the season.

"(Holland) made a good play and I was able to take one shot and then put the rebound in," Cogliano said of his goal. "It was a big goal for our team, I think whenever you could tie the game up in the second period it's a big lift for us."

At 10:27, it looked like Dallas took a 2-1 lead when center Derek Roy apparently netted his fourth goal of the year, tapping in a rebound off a Whitney shot which Hiller made a pad save on. However, the goal was nullified after a quick whistle from an official who was stationed behind the Stars net, much to the crowd's dismay.

"Those things are unfortunate," Dallas captain Brenden Morrow said of the quick whistle on Roy's nullified goal. "They happen. People make mistakes. Mark (Joannette) made a mistake on that one. He was a little quick on his whistle. But we needed to step up and our power play needed to step up. We had plenty of opportunities to find one. We didn't. It's on us."

Hiller also weighed in on the play.

"The more I thought, definitely the one that the ref blew the whistle there, I thought I was definitely lucky, but on the other ones, both of the posts, I got a piece of it," Hiller said. "I always say, if you work hard and fight hard, you're going to get lucky. I couldn't really kiss the referee, it was him who blew the whistle early, but on the other ones, I got a piece."

Just over a minute later, the Stars nearly took another lead at 11:09 when a nine-foot wrister by Reilly Smith deflected off both the right post and the crossbar before the puck floated to the left of the Anaheim goal and away from danger. The fans erupted, thinking it was a goal but officials quickly ruled that Smith's shot had not crossed the line.

"The phrase, is it better to be good than lucky or is it better to be lucky or whatever the phrase is," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But I mean, when you're playing really good, things seem to go off the post, because maybe that's all they have to shoot at. I'd rather take that than the alternative, because we've been on the other side of it."

With 3:27 remaining in regulation, Dallas' Jaromir Jagr tried to knock a one-timer from 17 feet into the Anaheim net but his shot first struck the far post and then the crossbar but never landed over the line for a goal. The play was reviewed less than a minute later but the call made on the ice stood.

Hiller stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced for the win while Lehtonen stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced to receive the loss.

Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan felt his squad was bolstered by the surprising return of Morrow, who had been ruled out this morning with a groin injury. However, after going through pregame warm-ups, he played.

"You guys could tell that he wasn't 100 percent but he's a warrior and he wanted to be in this game," Gulutzan said. "He gave us a little weight in there, just his leadership on the bench helps us out."

Both teams return to the ice on Saturday with Anaheim playing at St. Louis while Dallas hosts Chicago in game two of a four-game homestand.

NOTES: Anaheim right wing Corey Perry started serving his four-game suspension for an illegal hit on the Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker on Tuesday in the Ducks' 2-1 win at the Xcel Energy Center. Teemu Selanne, who normally skates on the Ducks' second line, filled in for Perry on Anaheim's top line. ... Dallas captain Brenden Morrow, who missed Tuesday's 4-0 loss to the Nashville Predators with a groin injury, participated in morning skate Thursday, went through pregame skate with no issue and returned to the lineup. He played on a line alongside rookie Antoine Roussel and Erik Cole. Morrow's return meant Dallas center Tomas Vincour, who was recalled from the American Hockey League on Monday, was a healthy scratch. ... Ray Whitney's goal in the first period was the first for the veteran Dallas wing since Jan. 24 against the Chicago Blackhawks. On Tuesday, Whitney returned to the ice after missing the previous 16 games with a foot injury.
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