Ducks Done in by Dallas' Depth

The third of three goals in 53 seconds. Yikes - Ronald Martinez

Good news, the Ducks kept Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin off the score sheet. Bad news, they still lost 6-3.

Final Score: Ducks 3, Stars 6

First Period Recap: Dallas turned the puck over to the Ducks in their own zone three times in the first three minutes of the game, resulting in a couple of decent-ish chances, but not really testing surprise starter/former Duck Dan Ellis.

Emerson Etem opened the scoring when Daniel Winnik screened Ellis on the point shot, picked up the rebound as he floated toward the corner got it back to Etem in front for the tap in.

Not a lot of flow to the first ten minutes of the game as each team had a few hard forechecking shifts, but they were broken up by lots of icing and the first penalty of the game was assessed to Matheiu Perreault for hooking Antoine Roussel not quite nine minutes in.  The best chance during the penalty was for Andrew Cogliano, and even that was an unscreened wrist shot from the outside off the rush.

Shortly after the penalty expired Roussel was whistled for a penalty of his own, a trip on Ryan Getzlaf deep in the Ducks' zone.  Dallas had an odd shorthanded chance, when Cam Fowler nearly deflected Brenden Dillon's shot past his own goalie, Jonas Hiller.  The Ducks didn't really get the PP going until the last 30 seconds of the opportunity, with a flurry of activity in close on Ellis, but ultimately couldn't convert.

The rest of the period went by pretty quietly, the Ducks had a 3-on-2 thanks to another turnover by Stephane Robidas, but other than that their best chances all came as a result of getting bodies to the net and firing away.  Jamie Benn's line with Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichuschkin was really the only one to get anything going offensively for the Stars and the period ended with the Ducks holding a 14-9 shot advantage and a 1-0 lead.

Second Period Recap: Sami Vatanen made the first play of the second period as Nichushkin (now moved off of that top line) came in on a 2-on-1 but kept the puck for himself, cutting to the middle and Sami slid down to knock the puck off of his stick.

The Ducks' first offensive chance came from yet another Dallas turnover at the blueline.  This time it was almost comical how the Stars' forwards just left the puck behind as they exited the zone for Nick Bonino and Andrew Cogliano to go 2-on-1, but nothing came of it.

Then with five minutes gone in the period the Stars had three high quality chances in a row from, you guessed it, Benn and Seguin but Hiller stood tall on two saves and got a little help from a Dustin Penner blocked shot.

About midway through the period the pace really picked up and even though both teams were getting up and down the ice much quicker, not much in the way of golden opportunities came of it until Nichushkin got around Hampus Lindholm and drew a hooking penalty.  It was another easy kill as the Ducks had the puck almost as much as the Stars PP unit did.  Buuuuuuut.......

As the penalty expired Dallas came into the Ducks' zone, the D got tangled up and Vernon Fiddler's cross crease pass went off of Roussel's skate (stopping motion, not kicking) and in past Hiller to tie the game at one.

After the goal, play slowed down again until the last minute of play in the period.  The line of Cogliano, Bonino and Kyle Palmieri got in behind the Dallas D but sprung the Stars on an odd man rush.  Their failure at the other end allowed Cogliano to get up ice and hold up for his line mates and Bones was able to sneak a sharp angle shot through Ellis, who was being screened by Trevor Daley and Palmieri.  This restored the Ducks' lead with only 35 seconds left.

It wasn't a dominating performance in the second from the Stars but they certainly had the better of the play, just slightly unlucky not to go into the final break with the score even.

Third Period Recap: The Stars came out even better in the third, with most of the first five minutes spent in the Ducks' zone.  That culminated in Cody Eakin tying the game up with a one timer from Eric Cole on the rush.

And on the next shift the Stars took the lead on a similar play, where they came in with 3-on-3 but the trailing Dallas player wasn't picked up properly.  This time it was Robidas, who snapped it high blocker side on Hiller with a few players in front.

But that's not all.  Immediately afterward, a shot by Penner was blocked all the way back into the Ducks' zone and Ryan Garbutt - of the five game suspension for concussing Penner - beat Fowler on a foot race to the puck and chipped it over Hiller.  Three goals in 53 seconds.  Time out Ducks.

The time out went for naught though, as a couple of shifts later, Perreault high sticked Benn to give Dallas a power play.  Energized by the offensive explosion, the power play was infinitely better than any of the previous opportunities for the Stars.  The best chance (of several good ones) came off of a stretch pass from Sergei Gonchar to Nichushkin, that Hiller stopped and was blown dead before Eaken could jam the puck past him.

The Ducks had a hell of a time in transition for the next few minutes, not able to connect many passes from their defense to their forwards and Dallas capitalized as Roussel went to the net and deflected Fiddler's shot from the boards past Hiller.  The Swiss netminder was upset, as he thought it should have been called off for goaltender interference, but no dice.  Roussel went deep into the crease and may have made some contact with Hiller, but made his way back onto the white ice by the time the puck got to him for the deflection.  5-2 Stars.

Penner got one back on the power play, with Dillon off for clearing the puck over the glass.  He was left uncovered on the back side, Gezlaf got him the puck.  He mishandled it to his advantage as he regained control he drew Fiddler out of position and turned back to shoot the puck through the screen of Daley and Corey Perry.

The Ducks did get the play going back in their favor for the tail end of the game, and pulled Hiller for the extra attacker with just over two minutes left, but to no avail.  Alex Chaisson added the empty netter to make it a 6-3 final.

****

Good: The first period was a very solid "road period."  Dallas was turning pucks over left and right, and the Ducks used that to control the puck and the pace of the game.  Before it was blown wide open in the third period.

Bad: Losing 6-3 on national TV when there are zero other games in the league, kind of sucks.  At least there's a massive Canadian TV deal and a class action lawsuit against the league to hopefully distract from a game between two teams nobody cares about.

Ugly: I don't know, could it be three goals in 53 seconds to start the third period?  Yeah that's probably it.

****

Third Icehole: Lazy Defense in the third period - Can't really put this one on Hiller, as much as the Ducks sat back and let the Stars take it to them in the first part of the final frame.  It's a 60 minute game boys, not 40.

Second Icehole: Ryan Garbutt - Is becoming a very easy player to hate.  After having a goal and concussing Penner in the last meeting, he had a goal and two assists tonight for Dallas.  He even saved a sure goal when the Ducks had Hiller pulled at the end.

First Icehole: Antoine Roussel - Littered up the stat sheet, as they say in tennis, with two goals a penalty and a penalty drawn, two shots, two missed shots and a blocked shot.  He just seemed to be everywhere for Dallas tonight in a bunch of different ways.

Next Game: Friday, November 29 vs Calgary at 1pm PT (The Black Friday Matinee Special)

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