ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Dallas Stars' penalty-killing unit is the best in the NHL. It took a double-deflection for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to capitalize on their only power play of the game.
Rob Niedermayer was credited with the tying goal long after the game ended -- and for the second time after three official scoring changes -- as the Ducks rallied for a 2-2 tie with Dallas on Monday night.
"I'm just glad that we found a way to tie it," Anaheim captain Steve Rucchin said after the Stars blew a third-period lead for the third time in four games. "Dallas is a good team, but even they're going to be susceptible to teams coming back on them."
Rucchin scored early in the first period, Petr Sykora had two assists and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 21 saves for the Ducks, who are 6-12-4 with two overtime losses since a season-best three-game winning streak in mid-November.
Jere Lehtinen had a goal and an assist and Scott Young also scored for the Stars, who have tied four of their last five games and allowed no more than two goals in 19 of their last 23 contests. Dallas captain Mike Modano, whose 44 assists and 64 total points against Anaheim are the most by any Ducks opponent, missed his second game because of a groin injury.
"Obviously, Modano is a great player and one of the best in the league," Giguere said. "They're obviously not as dangerous offensively without him, and not as fast. But we're missing key players, too. It's just the nature of the game, and you've got to find a way to step up."
Dallas took a 2-1 lead with 14:53 left in the third when Pierre Turgeon got a pass behind the net from Lehtinen, then carried it in front and set up Young at the right of the crease with a perfect thread-the-needle pass under Giguere's stick.
But the Ducks, who eliminated Dallas from last season's playoffs, tied it while Richard Matvichuk was off for high-sticking.
Sergei Fedorov took a slap shot from the top of the right circle that ricocheted off the left knee pad of Niedermayer, then off the skate of Stars defenseman Teppo Numminen and past goaltender Marty Turco's stick.
The goal originally was credited to Fedorov, then changed to Niedermayer, then changed back to Fedorov at the end of the game. But it had to be reversed again when Niedermayer explained to club officials that he was indeed the last Anaheim player to touch the puck.
"The bottom line is, we cashed in on a power-play opportunity," Rucchin said. "We're not getting too many of them lately. We seem to be getting just one or two a game. I think we're pretty used to it by now, unfortunately. But a lot of that is our fault, too. We need to work to draw penalties."
Dallas was 0-for-5 on the power play and is scoreless on 13 opportunities with the man advantage in its last three games.
"With all the power-play opportunities, we should have put them away, but we didn't," Young said. "We tried to keep their shots down to about 20 -- and that's good, as long as they're not quality shots."
Giguere was sharp from the beginning -- and he had to be because of some sloppy defensive play by his teammates. Defenseman Kurt Sauer's attempted clearing pass around the boards was intercepted behind the net by Turgeon, whose perfect centering pass forced Giguere to stop Lehtinen twice from close range just 68 seconds after the opening faceoff.
"Those were important minutes for us," Giguere said. "I wanted to make sure that I was going to battle until the end."
Young was thwarted by Giguere at the two-minute mark on a one-timer from 15 feet, and Rucchin opened the scoring about a half-minute later with a short backhander from the edge of the crease after his pass to Sykora bounced back to him off Sykora's stick.
Lehtinen tied it at 7:01 of the second period, beating Giguere with a 20-foot wrist shot from the left circle about 20 seconds after Turco robbed Sykora on a one-timer from point-blank range.
|Steve Rucchin (10) ASST: Petr Sykora (11)|
1 - 0 ANA
|Jere Lehtinen (5) ASST: Trevor Daley (5)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Scott Young (3) ASST: Pierre Turgeon (8), Jere Lehtinen (4)|
2 - 1 DAL
|PPG - Rob Niedermayer (7) ASST: Sergei Fedorov (14), Petr Sykora (12)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Power Play %||19.0%||15.7%|
|% on Road||23.3%||15.4%|
|% at Home||15.5%||16.1%|
|Petr Sykora Hooking|
|Michael Holmqvist Hi-sticking|
|Craig Johnson Hooking|
|Ruslan Salei Tripping|
|Richard Matvichuk Hi-sticking|
|Sergei Fedorov Slashing|
|Michael Holmqvist Roughing|
|Rob DiMaio Roughing|