In Game 5, the Ducks were finally able to close Dallas out of a game! The second period was far too defensive, but they came out with a one goal lead and ran away with it in the third.
-5: Second Period Lull (Last Game NR): It can't really be pinned on any one player, but the second period of this game was almost as ugly as the third period of Game 2. At least in Game 2 the Ducks were dropping back into a defensive shell to hold onto a lead at THE END of the game. With only a single goal advantage and an entire period to play, the Ducks' surviving only to chip the puck out of the zone through the middle frame was nothing short of exhausting, even to watch.
-4: Discipline (Last Game NR): On a related note, the Ducks got into penalty trouble through the middle of the game. The penalty kill was a perfect 7-for-7 on the night, but if anything was going to let the Stars back into the game, it was the 5-on-3 power play in the second period that came very close to pulling the game within one. The Ducks have done a good job to keep Tyler Seguin off of the score sheet in most of the games so far, but allowing him and Jamie Benn to have that many looks with an extra man is playing with fire.
-3: Bryan Allen (Last Game +1): After copping out on my bottom two slots, it's time to start splitting hairs. The defense as a whole was not bad in this game, but despite being praised on both the TV and radio broadcasts, Allen was the least effective Ducks defenseman to me. He was the worst at driving play. Cam Fowler and Ben Lovejoy drew all of the toughest minutes as usual while Luca Sbisa, Mark Fistric and Francois Beauchemin drew all of the flashy real time stats. I feel like I'm being overly harsh on Allen for this game where he was certainly not as big of a liability he can be, and it's not a bad thing for him to have a quiet night, but by default he was the bottom of the heap for the Ducks D.
-2: Patrick Maroon (Last Game +5): The line of Maroon, Teemu Selanne and Mathieu Perreault was almost non-existent in this game (Perreault made an impact with a goal and an assist, but only on the PP). Maroon had the best underlying numbers of the three, but did not show any of the forechecking acumen that made him one of the team's best and most consistent players through out the first four games. He wasn't terrible by any means, but was significantly less impactful than in any of the previous games. Also for the third straight game Maroon was effectively ejected with a late 10 minute misconduct. He needs to show some of that snarl earlier in the game in order to get his money's worth, similar to how Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt have.
-1: Emerson Etem (Last Game +4 with Rickard Rakell and Devante Smith-Pelly): It's very hard to overlook a 0.0 in the FF% column for the fan favorite, well qualified to represent the LBC, but he only played 5:26 in this game. And most importantly he neutralized uber-pest Antoine "Don't-call-me-Dominic" Roussel for a good chunk of time by engaging and receiving off setting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and 10 minute misconducts.
Even 0: Score Keeper (Last Game NR): Way to keep track of all of those penalties, bud!
+1: Jacob Silfverberg (Last Game NR): Though widely considered the checking line, Silfverberg, AndrewCogliano and Saku Koivu did not draw the toughest competition of the night. They were however the Ducks only three forwards with a Fenwick percentage above 50 at five on five. Silfverberg also put up a goal in the third period, even though he was caught a little bit off guard on Dallas' second.
+2: Rickard Rakell (Last Game +4 with DSP and Etem): Despite his line being the worst in possession for the Ducks, Rakell got his first ever career goal off of a deflection at a very key time of the game. With Ryan Garbutt's five minute major in effect, and just 26 seconds after Jamie Benn had tied the game up shorthanded, Rakell's tip in goal was sorely needed to keep the crowd in the game as well as keeping the quick strike Dallas offense at bay.
+3: Frederik Andersen (Last Game -4): With many Ducks fans calling for Jonas Hiller to start, Andersen had a solid bounce back performance. He doesn't hold the majority of blame for either of the two goals he let in and made some critical saves, especially in the second period when the team in front of him was playing as if they had a three goal lead, but really only led by one.
+4: Ryan Getzlaf (Last Game DNP): There is really no way to quantify how much the Captain Duck means to this team. He did make a major gaffe in turning the puck over to Benn for the shorthanded goal in the first period, but easily made up for it with his goal and two assists. Boudreau also matched his line against the Benn/Seguin duo all night and though they did have to defend more often than not, Seguin was kept off of the score sheet once again.
+5: Corey Perry (Last Game: -1): Perry had the goal that officially put the game out of reach. After Dallas had pulled Kari Lehtonen, he pulled the puck around an over aggressive Tim Thomas and finally allowed Ducks fans to relax for the first time since midway through Game 1. He also had two assists and drew the penalty that got the detestable Ryan Garbutt a five minute major and game misconduct. And make no mistake, Perry drew the game misconduct.
Anyone who believes that Perry's writhing around at center ice was anything more than an attempt to get Garbutt a more severe penalty is naive at best. This is Corey Perry we're talking about here. I'm sure the spear hurt, but there is no doubt in my mind that he was milking it for all it was worth, considering how quickly he returned to the game. And frankly anything goes in the playoffs so, well done to him. At least there was some contact, as opposed to when Roussel took a dive before even being touched by Bryan Allen in Game 4.
Calls for Garbutt to be suspended for that spear are way overblown to me. He was ejected with 51 minutes remaining in the game and served a five minute major. That's plenty of punishment for that particular act.
The Ducks are now one game away from moving on to the second round and a date with the San Jose Sharks (barring a hilarious collapse) and would do themselves a huge favor to finish it off on Sunday in Dallas. This series is nasty, and needs to end as soon as possible.
It will be a tough ask though, to go into Dallas and perform the way they have at home. They've done well to execute on their chances at home, but need to carry it over when they don't get the last change.