VIDEO: Anaheim’s Defense Downs Dallas

Photo: Alex Gallardo, Associated Press

Photo: Alex Gallardo, Associated Press

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks entered this contest just one point behind the Los Angeles Kings. John Gibson was in net for Anaheim and Antti Niemi went for Dallas.

First Period

The Stars had two power plays in this period, but could not convert. The Ducks had one power play and didn’t score as well. Gibson made some quality saves and the game remained scoreless after one period. Dallas held a 10 to 7 shot advantage.

Second Period

Halfway through the period, Dallas would get another power play as Andrew Cogliano was called for tripping. The Ducks almost scored short-handed when Jakob Silfverberg had a partial breakaway, but the puck was knocked away just before he could shoot. Shortly after Nate Thompson would get a breakaway and he would bury it by Niemi, who came out to challenge him. Dallas would get another power play in the period, which carried over to the third. In the final moments of the period Silfverberg almost scored, but Niemi was able to make the save. Ducks lead 1-0 after two periods and held a 9 to 7 shot advantage.

Third Period

Dallas started on the power play and another turnover behind the net resulted in Silfverberg getting the puck and finding Ryan Kesler open for the score. The Ducks took a 2-0 lead. Later in the period the Ducks had a power play, but didn’t convert. Things became interesting as Radek Faksa pushed the puck just over the line for a score to cut Anaheim’s lead to 2-1. Dallas pulled Niemi for the extra skater, but Kesler would score an empty net goal to preserve the win.

Key Moment of the Game

Kesler’s short-handed goal to start the third period. Dallas was looking to tie the game with the power play, but Anaheim extended their lead to two goals. The goal ended up being the game winner.

Player of the Game

Ryan Kesler. He scored two goals in this game and reached 20 goals on the season. He also shut down the Dallas offense throughout this game.

Stat of the Game

Two short-handed goals. The Ducks penalty kill didn’t allow a goal by Dallas and contributed two goals of their own.

Analysis

The Ducks turned out a great defensive performance in this game. They almost shut out Dallas, only allowing a goal in the final minutes of the game. The penalty kill came up big not giving up a goal on four Dallas power plays and scoring two short-handed goals as well. Anaheim blocked 22 shots in this contest, not allowing many second opportunities for the Stars. Dallas also had 21 turnovers in this game with the two biggest ones coming while on the power play that lead to two goals for Anaheim.

It appears the race for the Pacific Division is going to require a photo finish as the Ducks leap frogged the Kings for first place last night. In the past week the teams have switched places almost daily for the top spot. Both teams have four games left to play with the big match up coming on Thursday when they face each other for the final time during the regular season.

Game Notes/Stats

Ryan Kesler scored his 19th and 20th goals on the season. It’s the eighth time in his career that he has scored at least 20 scores in a season. It’s also the first time he has reached 50 points since the 2010-11 season.

Nate Thompson scored a goal and has a goal in each of his last three games.

Andrew Cogliano played in his 700th consecutive NHL game. He is sixth all-time in the NHL.

Corey Perry played in his 800th game as a Duck. He is second behind Teemu Selanne(966).

What’s next?

The Ducks face the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday at 7pm.

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