The last time the Ducks headed into Dallas, things did not fare well for Anaheim. It was one of the few games they have lost in regulation all season. Their second visit of the year was more successful, although they needed to come from behind, again, to get the 2-1 shootout win.
"They are tough," said Ryan Getzlaf, who had the game winning goal in the shootout. "This is a tough building. They've got a good hockey team over there and we know that. We came in and we got our two points and we'll move on."
Jonas Hiller was in net for the third game in a row and did not have to be nearly as superhuman as he did against Minnesota two nights prior. However, he still had to be pretty darn good and luck and a crossbar were on his side.
Ray Whitney put Dallas on the board at 12:35 of the first period. After missing 16 games with a foot injury, Whitney was in fine form and had a beautiful shot that went behind Hiller.
Andrew Cogliano continued his hot hand to tie up the game at 7:28. It was the only goal to get past Kari Lehtonen during regulation.
From that point forward, the Ducks were operating with a lot of luck on their side. Derek Roy thought he had the lead back for the Stars but the referee, mistakenly thinking that Hiller had the puck covered, blew the whistle early. Hiller did not and the puck went in, but no goal.
A few minutes later Dallas shot the puck and it hit the crossbar and out again. Anaheim should have bought a lottery ticket, because everything was coming up golden for them.
Late in the third period the hockey gods were kind for a third time. With the Stars on a power play, it appeared they got one past Hiller. For a brief moment both the Stars and Ducks paused, clearly in agreement that it was a goal, but it was waived no goal and play continued. After scratching their heads in bewilderment (both teams and fans), the replay clearly showed that the puck went off the crossbar, hit the post and exited the crease, never once passing the line.
Regulation ended without any more close calls and overtime did not yield anything either. Hiller was solid in the shootout, although Loui Eriksson came close. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Not in hockey shootouts.
Bobby Ryan and Getzlaf were both successful against Lehtonen. When Hiller stopped Whitney's shootout attempt, it was game over, two more points to the Ducks growing season total.
Anaheim is now undefeated in regulation in the past nine games. They have not lost in regulations since February 25 against the Kings.
"We've allowed one (regulation) loss in 16 games," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "No matter how you cut it, it's pretty good."
The "pretty good" Ducks now head to St. Louis on Saturday to see if they can keep their streak going. They will continue on without Corey Perry, who will not be eligible to play again after his four game suspension until Friday, March 22 against Detroit.
In other notes: Viktor Fasth did not back up Hiller, but should be back in the line up against St. Louis as Jeff Deslauriers was returned to his ECHL team. Kyle Palmieri returned to the line up after missing five games with an upper body injury. Nick Bonino missed his third game with a lower body injury.