Stars 3, Mighty Ducks 1
The Stars went more than 12 minutes before getting their first shot Sunday night. But they scored on their third and fourth attempts against Jean-Sebastien Giguere, as Philippe Boucher and Jere Lehtinen connected 50 seconds apart in the opening period to help the Stars beat Anaheim 3-1 for their fifth victory in six games.
“When the other team is taking it to you a little bit and racking up the shots, it’s more about responding and how you play than worrying about penalties and mistakes when you’re trying to gain the momentum,” goaltender Marty Turco said. “It was nice to get those back-to-backers in the first.”
Turco made 40 saves in his 200th NHL regular-season game, and Bill Guerin added a goal shortly after an injury to Giguere. Sergei Zubov assisted on the Stars’ first two goals, giving him 400 points with Dallas and 315 assists— tying former Anaheim head coach Craig Hartsburg for the franchise record among defensemen.
Rookie Jonathan Hedstrom had the only goal for the Ducks, who have lost five straight following a four-game winning streak. Four defeats have been by one-goal margins, two in overtime and one in a shootout. Anaheim has taken a combined 127 shots on net in their last three games, including a shootout loss against Minnesota and an overtime loss at Phoenix.
“It is frustrating, but there’s nothing we can do about it right now,” said Petr Sykora, who missed the net during a short-handed breakaway in the second period. “I’m as guilty as anybody. I’ve got four goals in 20 games, which is disgusting. If I would have scored some goals, the outcome of these games would be different.”
Anaheim outshot Dallas 17-3 in the third period and got a fluke goal with 12:43 remaining. Turco stopped a point-blank shot by Hedstrom from close range, but defenseman Stephane Robidas inadvertently kicked the rebound into his own net and deprived Turco of his 23rd career shutout.
“We need Marty to play like this,” coach Dave Tippitt said. “That’s what we call your goaltender giving your team a chance to win. And that’s exactly what he did. He was right on top of his game. Marty has got to be the backbone of everything, and he was tonight.”
The teams were skating 4-on-4 when Boucher ran his goal streak to three games with a wrist shot from the middle of the right circle that beat Giguere high to the glove side 13:48 in.
Anaheim’s Rob Niedermayer was still serving an interference penalty when Brenden Morrow made a centering pass from the left corner and Lehtinen redirected it between Giguere’s legs for a 2-0 lead. Dallas has connected on the power play in nine consecutive games, the team’s longest streak since a nine-game stretch in 1993-94.
“To get a 2-0 lead is huge, especially on the road,” Guerin said. “We’ve been competing—as individuals and as a team. There’s an enormous difference in our team on nights where we don’t compete and when we do. When we compete, we can play with anybody and we can beat anybody. When we don’t, we’re not very good.”
Giguere stopped five of seven shots before leaving the game at 4:28 of the second period with a cramp in his left leg. The Stars made it 3-0 less than two minutes after the 2002 playoff MVP departed. Guerin converted a rebound into a wide-open net for his fifth goal of the season and first in five games after Jussi Jokinen’s point-blank shot from 15 feet struck backup goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on the upper right arm.
“I feel like I’ve been playing well, but I just haven’t been producing to the level that I’m used to and that I’m expected to,” said Guerin, a three-time All-Star. “It’s been a little frustrating, but it was good to chip in.”
Dallas began a four-game stretch in which it will face the Ducks three times. Wednesday’s game at Anaheim will be the Stars’ 1,000th since leaving Minnesota, including playoffs. … Bryzgalov stopped Dallas’ last nine shots after giving up Guerin’s goal. … Only three players who helped Dallas win the Stanley Cup in 1999 are still on the roster—Lehtinen, Zubov and captain Mike Modano.