The Ducks shut out the Dallas Stars, 4-0 on Monday night, no fooling. It was about time they got back to doing the things they had been doing well all season. For the past week or two, it seemed like they had forgotten all the things that made them successful early on.
Somewhere, the light switched back on and so did the scoring.
"We shot," said Corey Perry simply. "You shoot the puck, you're going to get chances. We've been shooting, but we haven't been getting those second chances and opportunities. That's what makes the difference."
Both Anaheim and Dallas were tired teams, having played the night before. The Ducks lost to Columbus in overtime and Dallas had lost to the Kings in regulation. Both teams wanted to erase the previous game results.
There was no scoring in the first period, thanks to excellent goaltending from Viktor Fasth and Kari Lehtonen. The Ducks and the Stars had quality scoring chances that should have gone in the net, but did not.
Instead, the scoring did not get going until the second period. In a five minute opening of the proverbial ketchup bottle, the Ducks scored three times and never looked back.
Bobby Ryan started things off at 10:13 with Perry adding on at 12:52. Matt Beleskey added one more for good measure at 15:02.
Fasth stopped all 26 shots for the shutout, even when hammered by the Stars in the third period.
"He made big saves," praised coach Bruce Boudreau. " We weren't perfect tonight. We had breakdowns and I think all Viktor did was frustrate that team. That was the big thing — we didn't want them to get one because we thought that would really energize them and Viktor held the door and did that, especially at the end of the first, which would have given them a 1-0 lead going into the second and it might have been a whole different story."
Pulling Lehtonen for the extra attacker when down by three goals was a gutsy move by the Stars coach, Glen Gulutzan. It was to no avail as Teemu Selanne merely added one more to the tally at 19:32 of the third period.
The Ducks get to see Dallas two more times this week, both of them at home in this mini series between the two teams.
Despite only 48 hours between games, the Stars will have a different look on Wednesday night. Jaromir Jagr was traded to the Boston Bruins and Derek Roy was sent packing to Vancouver.
What needs to remain the same is the effort against the Stars. If the Ducks can continue the positives, they will continue to be successful.