Things have not come easily for the Ducks this season while on the road, but they are starting to look a little better. A 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars put the Ducks at .500 for this four game road trip. Considering that their last win in Dallas was February 28, 2009, two seasons ago, the victory was even sweeter. Perhaps not having to face a wandering Marty Turco in net helped (Kari Lehtonen has taken Turco’s place and is more rooted to his crease.)
Dallas got on the board first with a goal from Loui (where did that “E” go?) Eriksson at 16:06 of the first period on the power play. Eriksson seems to have the Ducks net pegged whenever the two teams get together and this was no different as he merely redirected a shot behind Jonas Hiller, who was in net again after sitting the past two games.
Hiller, who made 35 saves, stopped a huge one at the end of the first, keeping the score at 1-0 to head into the second period.
The Ducks rebounded in the second period, getting two goals from Bobby Ryan. The first came just :28 seconds in and the second at 10:30 to give the Ducks the lead.
Even better was the Ducks third goal and eventual game winner. George Parros took advantage of a turnover and breakaway opportunity by placing what was probably his prettiest goal of his career at 11:23. Parros has never been known for soft hands. His hands are usually used for fighting opponents on the ice. This time, they were the sweetest pair of hands ever and it was his first game winning goal since the minor leagues.
Unlike their last game against Detroit, the Ducks did not panic and fall back. Then again, the Stars are not the Red Wings.
Brian Sutherby, a former Duck, managed to push in a puck that had squirted loose in the crease, making it 3-2 at 6:08 of the third period. That was as close as Dallas came.
After struggling on the power play on the road, the Ducks made one count. With Brad Richards in the box, Teemu Selanne did what he does best – score on the power play. It was his 611th goal of his career to put him is sole possession of 15th all time in goal scoring. It was also his 800th point as a Duck.
The Ducks extended their lead after Stephane Robidas was kicked out of the game for a vicious boarding on Matt Beleskey. Beleskey clearly had his bell rung and was still being medically evaluated after the game. In a strange quirk, no one was sent by Dallas to the penalty box to serve the five minute major penalty, so when it expired, the Stars had to wait until the next whistle to put a fifth player on the ice. Before that could happen, Corey Perry put his fourth of the year into the net at 15:30. 5-2 Ducks. Game essentially over.
The Ducks certainly needed the boost of the win after the disappointing loss in the final seconds to Detroit, a game they should have won and could have won on Saturday. They head home now with a 4-5-1 record in their first 10 games. Not the best start ever, but not their worst.
The next eight games are all in their time zone, six at home and two in San Jose. If the Ducks are smart, they will do their best to earn as many points as possible. They will need every one of them if they want to make the playoffs again.
In other notes: Dan Sexton, who broke his nose in numerous places by blocking a shot on Saturday in Detroit, is back in Anaheim and awaiting surgery to repair his schnozz. He is expected to be out for the next two weeks recovering.