After a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in their season opener, the Anaheim Ducks had won their next four straight games for a record 4-1-0 prior to their game on Friday night. Their opponent, a Pacific division rival, the Dallas Stars had a very similar start to the season with a 5-1-0 recording entering the contest. Many media members and fans alike had figured that this would be a rebuilding year for the Stars and had been surprised by the surge of a start they had had.
Both teams entered the games with four-game win streaks, the only thing that would be certain, is that would not be the case by the end of the evening.
The Stars, and stars of the Stars, came out guns blazing in the first period, continuing their hot streak. Alternate captain Loui Eriksson netted his fourth goal of the season a mere thirteen seconds into the period, (setting an early tone and message for the evening). Mike Ribeiro followed suit by scoring his first goal of the season just before the twelve-minute mark to give the Stars an early two-goal lead in the first.
“We didn’t do a very good job in our locker room to get ready and that’s on us,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf mentioned. “It’s our responsibility to get ready for the hockey game.”
The Ducks seemed as though they’d be able to bounce back from the defecit. About four minutes into the second it appeared as though Cam Fowler scored a power play goal, but Corey Perry was called for goaltender interference and the goal was not counted. The Ducks kept getting quality shots throughout the period, they outshot the Stars 12-5 in the period, but they couldn’t seem to find the net.
However, just as the buzzer was sounding with .1 seconds remaining on the clock, Perry redeemed himself with a power play goal of his own, bringing the Ducks within one.
Unfortunately in the third period, the Ducks were unable to find the momentum necessary to tie the game and Eriksson, who had also had an assist on the Ribeiro goal, found the back of Jonas Hiller’s net again.
The Stars went on to win 3-1 and their fifth straight victory. Meanwhile, the Ducks will try to prevent a multi-game losing streak from starting on Sunday in a game against another Pacific division opponent, the Phoenix Coyotes.
“We can’t accept the way we played tonight, “ coach Randy Carlyle stated. “We have to take responsibility for our team. We’ll do what we can to correct some of the mistakes that we made in tonight’s hockey game and we’ll get ready for Sunday.”
As we join in the Hockey Fights Cancer movement, it is important to bring to bring to light that it has been ten years since Ducks center Saku Koivu, who was then a member of the Montreal Canadiens, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He made his return to hockey less than a season after being diagnosed. Through his experience, he was also inspired to start his cancer-fighting Saku Koivu Foundation.
For more on the Saku Koivu Foundation: http://sakukoivu.sympatico.ca/home.html
For more on Hockey Fights Cancer: http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=25343