Stars Shut Out Ducks 2-0

February did not start off well for the Ducks.   Not only did they lose to the Dallas Stars at home, only their third loss at the Honda Center this season, they were shut out 2-0. 

When is the last time the Ducks were shut out in a game?   March 27, 2013.   Nearly a year ago.  

At least the Ducks did not look as lackluster as they did in their loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.  Their main failing was being unable to solve former goaltender Dan Ellis, who made 26 saves.

"It’s always fun to come back here," said Ellis.  "I loved my time here. Still the best place I’ve ever played and lived in but it was good to get those two points for us tonight."

Ellis also earned two points for Dallas the last time the two teams met this season.  Thankfully, the Ducks won't have to meet them again in the regular season, now that Dallas is in a different division.

"He did a nice job against them last time we played them," said Dallas coach Lindy Ruff.  "From the looks of things, we may have to play him more. He gave us a rock-solid game. We only had a couple big breakdowns and he was there for us."

Jonas Hiller was minding the net at the other end and did not do a bad job, only allowing Trevor Daley's goal at 5:03 of the second period.  

"I don’t think we played really good the first two periods," said Hiller, who made 25 saves.  "It just didn’t seem to work out. We had some chances in the third, but Ellis played pretty well. We weren’t able to find the back of the net."

Sending Hiller to the bench for the extra attacker still did not yield a goal for the Ducks.  Instead, Jamie Benn sealed the deal with only :29 seconds left to go.

Anaheim, who still leads the NHL with a 40-12-5 record, has been faltering a bit of late.

"It seems like one game we play well, then the next game it seems like we’ve lost everything again," observed Hiller.  "Right now it doesn’t feel like we have that consistency where every day we come in and want to go out and give 100%. We wait and see what’s going to happen, then start getting into the game. Sure, it’s worked for us earlier, but at some point you can’t always think you’re going to come back in the third and win the game."

The Ducks, who are only 4-4 in their past eight games, need to get it together.  Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets might be a good time to start.

"When things aren't going your way, you might lose confidence," Hiller said.  "We need to get another streak going."

In other notes:  The Ducks will have to get a streak going with Nick Bonino, who was put on IR after suffering an upper body injury on Thursday night against Philadelphia.   Dave Steckel was called up in his absence.

Defenseman Mark Fistric left the game against the Stars with a lower body injury and did not return.  He is listed as day to day.  Nonetheless, Sami Vatanen was recalled from Norfolk, which indicates it could be longer than a game. 

About Karen Francis

Just a diehard Ducks fan since 1995, when the team filled the hockey shaped vacuum in my heart.

Stars Shut Out Ducks 2-0; Perry Hurt

The Ducks were spectacular from the beginning of January until the end of February.  Once the trade deadline passed, they are having difficulties adding to the win column.  As a result, they keep sleeping in the standings and the clock (perhaps a bomb?) just keeps ticking louder and louder to the inevitable.

The most recent loss, a 2-0 shutout by the Dallas Stars, really hurt.  Literally.  Corey Perry was boarded by Stephane Robidas in the middle of the second period.  Robidas received a minor penalty, but Perry was very shaken up and in pain, having hit his shoulder hard. 

Perry stayed on the bench for a while, then went to the locker room.  He came back on in the third period, but was only able to take a couple shifts and then left for good.

Reports after the game were that xrays on the shoulder came back negative and he was listed as day to day.

If the [Perry] penalty wasn’t a five-minute penalty, I don’t know what is,” said coach Bruce Boudreau. “He’s in the most vulnerable position. Head first going into the boards and he’s getting a shove. Whether it’s a little shove or a big shove, it’s a shove of a defenseless person into the boards. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that. And you put your best player out in a game we had to win. Any hit that’s into the boards for a defenseless person … isn’t that one of the criteria.”

Robidas faced no additional discipline from the NHL, but the Ducks will likely be without Perry for at least one game, in Colorado on Monday night.  Perry has played 272 games straight.  The last time he was out of the line up was when his thigh was sliced by Jose Theodore’s skate blade in March 2008 in a fluke accident. 

Perry was also hit hard in the St. Louis game and appeared to have hurt his shoulder then.   That certainly did not help things.

Not only will the Ducks have to play without their best player on the ice, they will also have to figure out their power play, which is dismal.  Missing Perry for half the game on Saturday night did not help the Ducks any in that regard.  Missing him for all of a game could be worse.

Brendan Morrow, who had missed 18 games, returned to the Stars line up and scored the game winning goal.  His power play tally at 2:37 of the second period was all that Dallas needed to defeat Anaheim.  They did play the rest of the game, though, just in case something different might happen.  It did not.

“Those four-footers with an empty cage are pretty easy to hit sometimes,” Morrow said. “Jamie Benn made a great play to hit me backdoor with an empty net.”

Jonas Hiller did keep the Ducks in the game and the only other tally for Dallas was an empty net goal by Michael Ryder at 19:14 of the third period.  That sealed it for Dallas, who won five of six games this season against the Ducks.  Ouch.’

Kari Lehtonen stopped 21 shots for the shutout. 

Anaheim now heads to Colorado.  They will be without Perry’s services, but have recalled Kyle Palmieri from Syracuse.  Palmieri joins Ryan O’Marra, who was recalled a few days prior due to a knee injury to Nick Bonino.

Looking at the standings and the numbers, the Ducks cannot afford a third loss in a row. 

About Karen Francis

Just a diehard Ducks fan since 1995, when the team filled the hockey shaped vacuum in my heart.

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