Final Score: Ducks 6, Stars 3
First Period Recap: Tonight saw the debut of Dallas Stars rookie goaltender Jack Campbell against veteran Jonas Hiller for the Ducks. One of these men wouldn't make it past the first period.
You're going to read the name Ryan Garbutt a lot tonight and not in a good way. Just 1:39 into the game, Garbutt met delicate Matthieu Perreault in the neutral zone with a nice knee-on-knee hit sending the Ducks on the power play. Up to this point, the power play had been beyond abysmal. The Ducks were right at the point of declining to accept any power plays awarded to them because they were so bad.
It looked like Anaheim was in for another bad power play after Ryan Getzlaf lost the initial draw to begin the session. Follwing a stoppage by the Stars goalie, Getzlaf proceeded to lose the next face-off; however, the Ducks managed to keep it in the Dallas zone. Another name you're going to read a lot is Antoine Roussel, and again, not for good reasons. After every whistle, Roussel played the pest role perfectly by cross checking Corey Perry in the back as Perry stood in the Dallas crease. Luckily, Perry didn't take Roussel's bait.
Still on the power play, Getzlaf digs the puck from the corner and threads a perfect pass through three Stars players to Selanne on the far side. Teemu was so open he had time to come to a stop, make a little fake move on Campbell before slinging a wrist shot past the goalie. It's the Ducks first power play goal since 1993 (give or take).
Dallas has an old guy, too. From behind the net, Ray Whitney flipped the puck up over the net to have it land dead center of Hiller's crease. Hiller has no idea the puck is right in front of him but Ben Lovejoy sees it and makes a diving clear before one of the Stars can get to it.
Midway through the period, Selanne and Perreault lose the puck to Ryan Garbutt. Garbutt runs over a pinching Sami Vatanen as he goes uncontested down the side boards and straight towards Hiller. Bryan Allen makes a last second attempt to deflect the puck off Garbutt's stick by diving in front of the Star. Garbutt easily lifts the puck up over Allen and Hiller's outstretched glove, tying the game at 1-1.
Despite having played and lost in Los Angeles the night before, the Stars were out muscling and skating the Ducks all over the ice in the first. It was just ugly. This seems to be a theme for the Ducks in the last few games. Antoine Roussel takes the physicality to the next level by helping Perreault's face unite with the dasher. It looked like boarding to me but the refs called it cross checking and sent Roussel to the box for two.
Now that they've blown off some of cobwebs on the power play, the Ducks see if they can recreate the magic from earlier in the period. Aaaand they can't. They were able to get set up, which is good, but it lead to an extended passing drill between Getzlaf and Vatanen. While they're playing catch, Perry is getting the business in front of the Dallas net from Brenden Dillon. Vatanen, Selanne and Perry end up spending 1:30 of the PP on the ice and are pooped by the end to make anything happen.
A few minutes after the power play ends, Dillon takes a shot from the point on goal. The puck deflects off Francois Beauchemin and up past Hiller. It's now 2-1 Dallas and they aren't taking their foot off the accelerator.
With less than a minute and a half left in the first, Dustin Penner is in the corner boards with Alex Chiasson draped all over him. In an effort to get the Dallas player away, Penner throws an elbow into Chiasson's shoulder. Chiasson whips his head back and the ref calls a roughing penalty on Penner. It takes the Stars 17 seconds to convert on the power play. Shawn Horcoff has himself positioned right in front of Hiller without anyone attempting to clear him from the crease. Valeri Nichushkin shoots the puck on net and it deflects off Horcoff behind the sprawling Hiller. Dallas earned the 3-1 advantage they took into the locker room.
Second Period Recap: To start the second period, Hiller has been benched in favor of Frederik Andersen. Andersen was called up from Norfolk after Viktor Fasth suffered a lower body injury at practice. Despite being called up a couple times, this is Andersen's first appearance in the big show.
The Ducks helped Andersen by adding the offense and physicality they couldn't produce in front of Hiller. Under a minute into the period, Getzlaf (having woken up in the between periods) does some fancy pants dangling along the side boards before passing to an on-rushing Perry at center ice. The Twins couldn't have timed it more perfectly as Perry deflects the puck behind Campbell. Ducks close the gap to one goal.
Anaheim goes back on the power play after Garbutt gives Perry a little slash on the wrists, likely in retaliation for the slash Perry gave him seconds before. It was another unremarkable power play. Right as the penalty ends and Garbutt comes out of the box, he's going full speed towards Penner who has his head down. Garbutt leaves his feet to hit Penner in the jaw with his shoulder pad. Instantly Penner drops to the ice. He's unconscious and laying motionless, face first on the ice as the trainer rushes out to him.
Penner is eased on to his back and remains there. He tries to get up on his feet but he's pulled back by the trainer. Dustin tries a second time and is helped up by Perry and Getzlaf. His weight was entirely on Perry and Getzlaf as he skated off, barely moving. Penner is helped to the locker room and it looks like he's almost being dragged in there. Later in the game, Brian Hayward relayed the message that Penner had full feeling in all his extremities and is under observation at Honda Center. There was no call on the play.
The Ducks ended up back on the power play later on when Jakob Silfverberg drew a hooking penalty sending Horcoff to the box. The first power play for the Ducks was a success; the last two, not so much. I'll admit I didn't expect much from Anaheim on this fourth attempt, and of course, I'm made to look a fool. Perry is positioned in front of Campbell as Cam Fowler releases a shot from up at the point. The puck deflects off the defenseman's stick and in to the net. The goal is given to Perry because it might have touched his sweater before going in. It should be switched to Fowler's goal later on. Goal scorer confusion doesn't really matter because the Ducks have now tied the game - on the power play nonetheless.
Not too long after the goal, Horcoff drew a penalty after he dislodged Vatanen's stick from his hands and Sami held on to the Star. It was a shooting gallery for a while and Andersen had to make three of the biggest saves of the night. The PK is successful and Anaheim goes back on the power play right afterwards.
It doesn't start well when the man with the biggest target on his back, Ryan Garbutt, manages a breakaway. Hampus Lindholm flew up the ice and managed to catch up to him. Right as Garbutt is in front of the net, Lindholm dives/swipes the puck away. Garbutt loses his balance when Hampus makes the play for the puck and he goes (Gar)butt first into the boards. Attempting to draw a call, Garbutt grabs his head like he's in pain. The ref doesn't fall for it and play continues.
Still on the power play, Campbell covers the puck for Dallas with Perry looming over him. Roussel sucker punches Perry in the face a couple times and the two attempt to throw down. One linesman grabs Perry by the neck, like the way a mama cat grabs her kitten. The other linesman bear-hugged Roussel until he calmed down. Both were sent to the box for roughing.
If things were nasty before they started to get worse after the semi-scrap of Perry and Roussel. Garbutt draws a penalty on Winnik by practically dry humping Daniel. Winnik attempts to rid himself of Garbutt by throwing a forearm/elbow into the Star's face.
The penalty kill for Anaheim can be sooo good and sooo bad at any given point in a game. This time it was sooo good. Speedsters Emerson Etem and Andrew Cogliano are busting ass getting the puck away from Dallas and manage a 2-on-1. Cogs overskates Etem's pass but makes up for it by recovering the puck along the boards. Andrew sends the puck directly on the tape of the charging Etem who flips it in the net as he's falling. A shorty for Emerson and the Ducks are up 4-3.
Ducks end the period by allowing Andersen to get peppered by shots. I can see why they love him in Norfolk. He was calm in net. You wouldn't know it was his first bonafide NHL game.
Third Period Recap: Shortly after the puck dropped, Hampus Lindholm joined Perry (still serving his four minute roughing minor) in the penalty box on an interference call. How Dallas didn't score on this power play, I have no idea. Andersen bailed his Ducks teammates out several times. He was able to see through traffic, kick out the leg at just the right moment and/or absorb rebounds.
After a successful PK, the Ducks score their fifth goal of the night on a beautiful play by Kyle Palmieri. Palms takes the puck away from Trevor Daley at the blue line and sends a pass to Getzlaf. The puck is bouncing as Getzlaf gets it under control and sends it to Perry. Perry touch-passes the puck back to Getzlaf and he flings it by Campbell. Ducks now up 5-3.
Fatigue finally started to hit the Stars midway through the third period. They have a couple of rapid-fire shooting gallery moments but for the most part, control starts to fall the way of the Ducks. Frustrated by this, Alex Goligoski starts to cross check and bump with Cogliano. Cogs doesn't backdown as he counters with a couple shots of his own. Both guys were taken off the ice and given two minutes for roughing. Nothing comes of the four-on-four except for Andersen again having to bail out his buddies.
Just under five minutes to go in the game, Etem throws a puck on goal from the blue line. Luck is on the Ducks side tonight as the puck deflects off Perreault and into the net. Anaheim ices the game at 6-3.
The Stars begin to unravel at this point. First, Roussel was finally given a 10 minute misconduct penalty for being an ass (or something). New Stars captain Jamie Benn decides to go at Francois Beauchemin. After a few bumps both guys throw off their gloves and begin landing haymakers. I'd give the advantage to Benn after Beauch is cut on both his face and his hand, likely from his own visor. You can be the judge thanks to our buds at HockeyFights.com.
The game ended a couple minutes later with a final score of 6-3. The Ducks were a perfect 5-0 on their first home-stand of the season. Now they embark on a loooong road swing out East.
The Good: Hey! The power play isn't totally awful for the moment. The Ducks were 2-of-5 and we can't ask for much more than that knowing what they had (not) accomplished in the past handful of games. It's a matter of getting Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne going. When they have success on the PP, the rest of the team follows.
The Bad: The Ducks played a really, really crappy first period and have done so for a couple games. Now that they're hitting the road for half a century, they've got to tighten that ish up. A whole bunch of f-bombs from Bruce during intermission will get a team only so far.
The Ugly: As mentioned above, Dustin Penner took a dirty hit from Ryan Garbutt. The good news is that Penner is alert and walking under his own power and Mr. Garbutt has an appointment in New York.
DAL's Ryan Garbutt has in-person hearing with NHL for hit on ANA's Dustin Penner. In person hearing gives NHL option of 6 or more games.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 21, 2013
Next Game: Tuesday, October 22nd 4:00pm PT @ Toronto. Well hello, Randy...