In part two of a three part mini-series, the Ducks had another decisive victory over the Dallas Stars. This time it was a 5-2 victory at home, but even though it was the same uniforms, there were a lot of different players on the Dallas side of things. The trade deadline has a way of doing that.
Since Anaheim had played Dallas on Monday, the Stars had traded away five forwards, including Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy. The spots were filled with minor league call ups, who were more than happy and willing to get a chance to play.
The Ducks stayed pat, for the most part, making only a couple of trade deadline moves. Veteran center, Matthew Lombardi, was acquired from Phoenix in exchange from little used Brandon McMillan. Lombardi adds depth down the middle, something that will help alleviate the bulk of center duties that currently fall on captain Ryan Getzlaf.
Speaking of Getzlaf, there is a reason he is the captain and why he is having one heck of a year. He earned the first star of the game on Wednesday for many reasons.
A brilliant pass to newcomer Radek Dvorak resulted in Dvorak's first goal as a Duck at 11:44 of the first period.
"Beautiful," said Dvorak. "He's one of the best passers in the League. He sees the ice very well. As soon as I see him with the puck I just try to get open, and the puck landed up on my stick. It was an easy tap-in for me."
Getzlaf also assisted on Teemu Selanne's power play goal at 11:33 of the second period. It was the first power play opportunity in the game for either team, but Selanne made it look easy. Then again, the Dallas netminder, Kari Lehtonen, is a fellow Finn and Selanne would know his weaknesses. On the other hand, Selanne makes a lot of goalies look silly, Finnish or not.
Kyle Palmieri's goal at 16:42 gave the Ducks a commanding 3-0 lead, but they needed it when things got a little scary for Anaheim.
In the first shift of the third period, Getzlaf accidentally stepped on his stick and tweaked his right leg as he fell awkwardly to the ice. Getzlaf was clearly hobbled and went to the locker room right away. Talk about an "oh no" moment.
With the Ducks a little off focus, Dallas took advantage and Erik Cole finally broke Viktor Fasth's shutout at 2:48 to put the Stars on the board.
Fortunately Getzlaf was able to shake things off enough to return to the bench around the 5:30 minute mark into the period. Goal number 150 came for the captain at 10:30 to give the Ducks a 4-2 lead.
"He scored the goal and I said that's enough," said coach Bruce Boudreau, who then proceeded to send his captain back into the dressing room to get iced and treated.
Dallas made it 4-2 when the Ducks let down and got a little sloppy. Lane MacDermid, acquired from Boston in the Jagr trade, got his first NHL goal at 18:36 and gave Dallas a little more life.
With Lehtonen pulled, Dallas made a go of it, but Andrew Cogliano put it away for good with just :03.8 seconds remaining. Cogliano's shot appeared to go wide and then it chipped a little on the ice and veered into the net instead.
Getzlaf is still expected to play on Friday in the final episode against the Stars. Matt Beleskey is more questionable, having taken a high stick to the eye in the third period on Wednesday. Even though the Ducks have won the first two, they won't be sitting back.
"Teams that make trades and do the sell-off are so tough to play down the stretch," commented Boudreau. "Experience tells me when you bring in a lot of new guys, young guys especially, they play with so much energy. To beat any team three times in a row is difficult, but we're going to try."
In other notes: Goaltender Jeff Deslauriers was sent to the Minnesota Wild for future considerations in the other trade deadline activity by the Ducks.