Dallas Downs Anaheim 4-2

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks started the season on the road in Dallas against the Stars. The Ducks looked to get off to a good start, but the Stars had other plans.

First Period

Dallas got off to an early 1-0 lead when Stephen Johns took a pass from Patrick Eaves and slid the puck behind John Gibson at the top of the crease. Anaheim had four power play chances in this first period but couldn’t convert. Andrew Cogliano did tie the game, when Anaheim was short-handed. He stole the puck from Jason Spezza and then had a breakaway on Antti Niemi. Cogliano’s first shot was stopped, but he got to the rebound and put in the back of the net. Shots favored Anaheim 17-1.

Second Period

Lauri Korpikoski scored in the opening minutes of the period to give Dallas a 2-1 lead. The Stars had two power plays in this period, but Anaheim killed both of them off. The Ducks had a difficult time generating offense and were outshot 9-4 in this period.

Third Period

Just over a minute into the period, Cogliano tied the game at two goals a piece. Dallas answered right back, as Antoine Roussell scored 22 seconds later to give the Stars the lead at 3-2. Adam Cracknell added a goal halfway through the period extending the Dallas lead to 4-2 The Ducks did go on the power play with just under five minutes left in the game. Randy Carlyle pulled Gibson for the extra attacker with over three minutes still left in the game, but the Ducks couldn’t score and lost 4-2.

Analysis

The Ducks need to work on their special teams, defense, and goaltending. Anaheim couldn’t get anything going on the power play, going 0-for-5, including a four minute power play they had in the first period of the game. The defense didn’t do a solid job of clearing out the crease. Three of the four Dallas goals came from the top of the Anaheim crease. Gibson didn’t look his best in net as well.

The bright spot for Anaheim was the play of Andrew Cogliano. He led the team with the only two goals scored for Ducks. Anaheim was able to manage 35 shots on net as a team, but not too many were quality scoring chances. The Ducks will look to improve against the defending Stanley Cup Champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Carlyle has some decisions to make in net as the Ducks will play in back-to-back contests this weekend.

Game Notes:

Simon Despres sustained an upper body injury and is day-to-day.

Jacob Larsson and Nick Sorensen both made their NHL debuts.

The Dallas Stars honored the families of the fallen police officers during the pre-game ceremony.

What’s Next?

The Ducks travel to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins at 4PM PT.

Video Highlights (Click photo to watch game summary)

Click photo for video highlights.

Photo: NHL graphic, click for video highlights.

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