Final Score: Ducks 4, Stars 0
First Period Recap: This period began somewhat frustratingly, with the Ducks hitting the crossbar at every available opportunity. Even though Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, and Ryan Getzlaf were hustling and creating opportunities, every one of their shots seemed to go juuust wide (specifically Bobby's). The frustration was amplified by a missed holding call on Jamie Benn. Despite this, the RPG line was playing an uptempo, puck possession brand of hockey, reminiscent of Sunday's third period against Columbus. In the crease, Viktor Fasth seemed to control his rebounds more than usual, but his puck-handling left me somewhat underwhelmed. The Ducks put out a ton of effort, but the period still ended 0-0.
Second Period Recap: Once again, the period began with a questionable high-sticking call on Teemu Selanne. The Ducks kill it, but it's followed a few minutes later by an elbowing penalty on Bryan Allen. I understand that Allen was brought in to provide some sandpaper, but you don't put your team on the PK when your deadlocked 0-0. Luckily, it didn't matter. Stephane Robidas is called for hooking later in the period, and Bobby's wrist shot gets the puck past Kari Lehtonen (Getzlaf and Cam Fowler get the assists). Some might complain about having Kyle Palmieri and Matt Beleskey on the power play (*cough*Robby*cough*), but in the end, it didn't really matter. Bobby's PPG set off a wave of scoring that was followed by goals by Perry (watch out for those rebounds, Lehtonen) and Beleskey. The period ends 3-0 Ducks, a seemingly insurmountable lead.
Third Period Recap: While the Dallas Stars' power play looked pretty good for most of the game, it failed to capitalize on two golden opportunities - Lovejoy's high-sticking penalty and Beauch's tripping penalty. (Even though the latter PP became a 4 on 4 after Jaromir Jagr was sent to the box). The Ducks do an excellent job of getting into Lehtonen's crease, and the goaltender is eventually pulled. Teemu Selanne ends the game with an empty-netter to bring the final score to 4-0. Woohoo!
The Bad: Cam Fowler's offense. I'm not as hard on Fowler as some people in the AC community, but I'd like to see him generate more scoring than he has in recent games.
The Ugly: There's not much to complain about when your team wins 4-0, but I'll be a homer and complain about the few missed calls, including that one time when Peter Holland was tripped and no one seemed to care.
3rd MVD: Ben Lovejoy. In all honesty, this should probably be Ryan Getzlaf's place. But like many of the commenters in the GameThread, I have been impressed by his quiet effectiveness. It's like he's channeling his inner Francois Beauchemin.
2nd MVD: Bobby Ryan. He scored the game-winning goal, played a crucial part in setting up Perry's goal, and showed us grit in addition to pretty hockey. Hopefully, tonight is the beginning of a scoring streak that will take him (okay, temporarily) off the trading block.
1st MVD: Viktor Fasth. When your goalie gets a shutout, he deserves to be the MVD. Fasth made 26 saves on 26 shots, including some huge saves late in the game.
Next Game: Wednesday, April 3 at 7pm vs Dallas