It might have been the last remnants of my jet lag, but the game between the Ducks and Stars was so uninspiring, I nearly fell asleep during the third period. I would not have missed much.
The whole game was a snoozefest from start to finish. Unless you are a Dallas fan. In that case, things looked pretty good indeed.
Right from the get go you knew it was not going to go well for the Ducks, who were trying to extend a four game winning streak. Just :13 seconds into the game error number one gave the Stars a 1-0 lead. A simple dump in ended up banking itself off of Francois Beauchemin and in behind Jonas Hiller.
It did not get any better.
“We’ve got to be ready to play,” said Ducks captain, Ryan Getzlaf. “We didn’t do a very good job in our locker room to get ready and that’s on us. We came out pretty flat. It just wasn’t the (first) one. You can’t do that against a good hockey club. That obviously cost us tonight.”
Dallas is a good hockey club and they were more than happy to capitalize on any and all opportunities afforded to them by Anaheim.
“Turnover fest,” was coach Randy Carlyle’s description of the game.
Mike Ribiero said “thank you very much” to one of those turnovers and made it 2-0 at 7:40 of the first period. Ribiero is a Duck killer, with 10 goals and 39 points in 38 games against Anaheim. Ouch.
The Ducks nearly got on the board in the second period with a power play goal. Cam Fowler’s shot went in the net. Ducks started celebrating. Refs said no way and waved off the goal, instead charging Corey Perry with goaltender interference. Seeing as Perry did make contact with Kari Lehtonen’s head, it was a good call.
But it also sucked the life out of the Ducks. Instead of being behind a goal, they were down a man and just could not recover from there. Not that they were stellar at any point, but at least there was something positive to build on.
Perry redeemed himself a bit with another power play goal that nearly was not a goal. The clock read 0.1 seconds left in the second period. One tenth of a second was all that separated a goal from not being a goal.
In the third period, Loui Eriksson got goal number two of the game at 1:42, restoring the two goal lead, and Dallas never looked back.
The Ducks should not look back at this stinker of a game either.
They face another division foe, Phoenix, on Sunday, before heading out on the road on their first official road trip. (Europe does not count). In between, the Ducks get to meet their season ticket holders in the annual fan fest and hopefully apologize for what one can only hope will be an anomaly in an otherwise good season.
Dallas? They get to see if they can make it six in a row against the Kings on Saturday evening. Which team does one root for as a Ducks fan in this scenario?
In other notes: George Parros made contact to the head of Krys Barch early in the second period. Barch was clearly rattled and Parros seemed surprise at the severity of the collision. No penalty was called, but that does not negate the possibility for further review by the NHL.