Dallas Hands Ducks First Shutout Loss of the Season 2-0

Ronald Martinez

The Ducks struggled to score from the start, and an early goal in the second period for the Stars stood as the game winner.

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Final Score: Ducks 0, Stars 2

Scratches: Nick Bonino (IR), Dustin Penner, Kyle Palmieri and Bryan Allen.

First Period Recap: Big changes in the lineup with Bonino injured. Daniel Winnik, Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano were reunited as the starting forwards. Dave Steckel was also called up to take Bonino's place as fourth-line center. Jonas Hiller and Dan Ellis were the starting goaltenders.

After some early pressure from Ducks with Cogliano and Koivu speeding into the zone, Ryan Getzlaf was able to make a change with Winnik and flung a puck into the crease form the corner that nearly trickled in off a deflection. On the same play, Cody Eakin was hit in the face with the puck and was taken to the Stars locker room leaving a trail of blood.

The top line featured Patrick Maroon along with Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Mark Fistric was back to his solid play, running over Alex Chaisson. Perry made a big defensive play by hitting a Dallas player in the slot. Teemu Selanne, Mathieu Perreault and Hampus Lindholm had a passing play that nearly scored. A Ryan Garbutt shot flung at Hiller bounced in the slot but Getzlaf was there to clear it.

Ducks got the first power play of the game when Alex Goligoski hit Perry with the puck was nowhere near him. Selanne was in a shooting mood and nearly found Matt Beleskey alone in front of Ellis. The Ducks couldn't score on the power play despite numerous chances. Lindholm ran into the linesman who got in front of him and the play turned into a two on one for the Stars. Luckily, Tyler Seguin fumbled the pass. Getzlaf was checked from behind and couldn't get a shot off a clean pass by Perry on a quick transition.

A big part of Dallas' game plan seemed to be getting under Perry's skin.  Late in the period he got crosschecked by Goligoski, some pushing and shoving ensued, but nothing came of it.  Lots of things away from the play were not being called in this game, but Ben Lovejoy got a penalty for interference with just under a minute left. Hiller made a huge save on Goligoski with a second remaining. Hits were 14-14 at the end of one. Fistric left late in the period and did not come back.

Second Period Recap: The Ducks easily killed the remainder of the power play to begin the period. Fistric did not return to the period and was later said to have a lower-body injury (NOOOOOOO!!!!). Lindholm and Fowler were a pair for a while. Silfverberg and Selanne broke up a play in the Ducks' zone and transitioned to offense, but Silfverberg couldn't get the puck up over Ellis' glove on the best chance so far.

Trevor Daley opened the scoring on a rebound after Fowler pinched and Maroon and Francois Beauchemin couldn't stop the rush.

Luca Sbisa (Yes, he's still playing) took a hooking penalty on the very next shift.  Seguin had a chance on the power play, but was stopped by a backchecking Cam Fowler.  After that, the penalty was killed with little trouble.

The Ducks still weren't getting many chances and Dallas was getting sticks on passes and shots. Little pick plays were also slowing the Ducks down. Perry was called for hooking in the defensive zone. Cogliano on the penalty kill was so awesome. Just as the penalty to Perry expired, the Ducks took possession and fed Perry the puck on a partial break. He was stopped by Ellis.

Hiller was forced to make another amazing save off a rebound on the end boards late in the period. Lindholm pulled a Beauchemin and hip checked Garbutt into the boards. The Benn brothers, Jordi and Jamie, combined for a chance that went off the post with 15 seconds left in the period keeping the score 1-0.

Third Period Recap: Four-on-four resulted from a mess of players at the end of the second period, but nothing really came of it. Hiller made a big save (AGAIN) five-on-five against Benn and Chaisson the post (AGAIN) on a transition for Dallas.

Hooking on Cody Eakin put the Ducks on the power play. The Ducks' best chance with the man advantage came when Fowler tiped it in to Maroon and the puck laid in the crease but wasn't tapped home. Perry and Getzlaf were never on the ice together during the power play and the Stars killed it.

The best shift of the night with Getzlaf, Perry and Silfverberg cycling and getting close on Ellis. A tripping call on Dallas put the Ducks back on the power play with 8:39 remaining, but the Ducks got no movement on the power play and it is was easily killed by Dallas.

Toward the end of the game the Ducks struggled from making too many passes and the Ducks couldn't get a shot on net.  With Hiller pulled for the extra attacker Perry had a wide open net but couldn't finish. Going the other way, Chaisson missed the empty net from his own side of center, but the linesman waved the icing for some unknown reason and on the second attempt Jamie Benn scored to make the final score 2-0.

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Good: Hiller really kept the Ducks in the game. He was forced to make some really great saves, especially at the end of the first and second period. Without Hiller this could easily have been a three or four goal loss.

Bad: Everyone else. It seemed like everyone was one step behind the play after the first period. When Fistric went down, Bruce was forced to mix defense pairings. The forward lines were a mess and I thought that sitting Palmieri and Penner was a weird decision considering the speed of the Stars.

Ugly: The final score DUH!

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Icehole No. 3: The Linesmen. There were some serious late whistles on offside calls going both ways that disrupted play early in the game. Dallas also got a two-on-one opportunity when the linesman took out Hampus Lindholm. And of course, there was that late icing call that was waved off.

Icehole No. 2: The forwards. The passing was pretty good in the first period, but after that, there was nothing good about the forward play. When they had chances they couldn't complete the play or made one too many passes. On defense some forwards looked like they were trying to do too much and it allowed the Stars to get more shots, especially in the second period.

Icehole No. 1: Luca Sbisa. His defense wasn't complete trash tonight, but taking so many penalties when your team is trying to make a comeback isn't a good thing. Even though most of the penalties were iffy calls at best, there is really no excuse for lazily reaching out with your stick to try to defend. I noticed that when Sbisa was forced to be the man to break out of the defensive zone, he often got caught flat-footed and never had momentum out of the zone. Now that Fistric is injured, Sbisa has to step up his game.

Next Game: Monday, Feb. 3, 7:00 PST against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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