If we're being honest, the first period was pretty boring. The Ducks were pretty badly out possessed, especially for the first ten minutes or so. There were a couple of big hits laid out by Simon Despres and Chris Wagner, but really the first action of any real note was Antoine Roussel's interference penalty against Corey Perry at 12:52. Still that didn't help all that much. The Ducks went offside a couple of times on the PP and never really got much going.
The best shift of the period for the Ducks was thanks to Rickard Rakell knocking the puck away from Jhonas Enroth as he was about to cover. Jiri Sekac made a nice between the legs pass to Corey Perry (as Ryan Getzlaf sat out a second consecutive game) but his shot went over top. Dallas cleared, but on the way back in Hampus Lindholm let a hard shot go that ended up being an easy save for Enroth. The fact that that was the best shift of the period and that it came with just over two minutes left, should tell you a lot.
At the very end of the period Simon Despres boarded Roussel pretty hard. After writhing around on the ice for a while and getting some attention from the trainer Roussel went off under his own power and didn't miss any time. Despres got the standard two minute minor and it carried over 1:22 into the second period.
The Ducks ended up outshooting Dallas 10-7 but the 23-15 shot attempt count was more indicative of the play.
The remaining penalty time went by without much consequence with only one shot on goal, but after that, the second period Ducks reared their ugly head. Clayton Stoner attempted a cross ice exit pass that was cut off by Ryan Garbutt, he dropped it to Shawn Horcoff for a shot from distance. Garbutt picked up the rebound and attempted the wrap around. Frederik Andersen go this skate to the post, but Vernon Fiddler chipped the rebound over him to open the scoring. 1-0 Stars.
Just over six minutes of possession dominance later Dallas extended their lead to two. Right off of a faceoff in the Ducks' end, Jordie Benn's shot from the point got through the screen of Patrick Eaves and past Andersen. 2-0 Stars.
Not quite two minutes after the second goal, Stoner went off for hooking Roussel at the Dallas blueline. The Ducks actually had the best opportunity of the power play with Jakob Slifverberg getting a decent-ish shot away, until Despres cleared the puck over the glass for a delay of game to make it a 5-on-3. The Stars got set up on the two man advantage and Jamie Benn set up Eaves for a one time snap shot in the slot. 3-0 Stars.
Bruce Boudreau took his timeout at this point, and it didn't help a heck of a lot, although I guess they didn't give up any more goal so there's that. But the Stars kept control of the game for the rest of the period for the most part. The Ducks only managed to get six shots against Enroth as opposed to Dallas' 19 in the middle frame.
So.... remember when I said the first period was boring? Yeah, a 3-0 Dallas lead going into the third didn't help.
If it wasn't already sealed away with a 3-0 lead (it was), Dallas added one more to finish off the game, just past the halfway point of the period. Francois Beauchemin, threw a pass to nobody in the defensive zone, technically he was putting it to an area for Rakell to skate onto, but Jamie Benn ended up taking it and teeing up Patrick Eaves for his second of the night. 4-0 Stars.
And that was all she wrote, the teams combined for only nine shots on goal in the final period (6-3 Dallas), and the Ducks will have to wait and see what St. Louis does tomorrow in order to secure the top seed in the Western Conference Saturday in Arizona. Although there are other much more important scores to be watching tomorrow as well. Go Flames Go! Go Jets Go!
The Good: Let's just be glad that this one didn't really count for anything. Aside from a brief bit of glowing praise for Scott Niedermayer on the NBCSN broadcast, there wasn't much for Ducks fans to enjoy.
The Bad: Only two things... Offense and Defense. But I guess if I have to be more specific it's turnovers. Two of the four goals were directly resulting from terrible turnovers.
The Ugly: How about that possession chart up at the top of the post? Yeesh! 60.9% Shot attempts for Dallas and not even much in the way of score effects for the Ducks. Is it just me or do the Ducks always play Dallas on NBCSN and always play like complete garbage?
3rd Icehole: Antoine Roussel - Just for being himself. He was drawing penalties with his speed and general dickishness. At least he didn't figure into the scoring, as he can, but he just seemed to be involved all over the ice.
2nd Icehole: Patrick Eaves - two goals, both put on a platter by Jamie Benn... speaking of which....
1st Icehole: Jamie Benn - three assists, including his first ever to his brother (despite playing together for about two and a half years) put him into a tie for the league scoring lead with John Tavares and Sidney Crosby at 83. Also, just something I noticed, every single time the camera cut to him on the bench he was pissed about not having just scored. Dude wants it bad.
Next Game: Regular Season Finale at Arizona, Saturday 6pm PDT