's dream was the Dallas Stars
Sexton, a 22-year-old rookie playing his third NHL game, scored twice in the third period before Saku Koivu
goal with 46.5 seconds left in overtime gave the Anaheim Ducks
a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars
on Tuesday night.
The Stars appeared to have the game well in hand when they led 3-0 with less than two minutes to play in the second period. But Joffrey Lupul came out of the penalty box and scored on a breakaway with 1:36 left in the period to give the Ducks some life.
Sexton, who was called up after Teemu Selanne broke his left hand last Thursday, then played a period the future Hall of Famer would have been proud of. He got the Ducks within a goal at 6:08 of the third by flipping home a feed by Bobby Ryan
"Take my coolest previous feeling and multiple it by 10, if not more," Sexton said. "That is what it was. I thought we were due to score, but once it actually happens, you're in shock. To get another one after that, it just felt like a dream. It was unbelievable."
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound undrafted free agent then forced overtime when he raced down the right side and beat Marty Turco with a bad-angled shot from the right circle with 62 seconds left in regulation.
"You throw it on net sometimes and good things happen," said Sexton, who finished with nine shots on goal. "I worked hard all night and it was great to see it pay off."
Koivu won it by backhanding his own rebound behind Turco to finish a 3-on-1 break.
"It felt great," Koivu said. "For my line and myself, there have been some chances in the last couple of games, but the puck hasn't gone in. We were down early in the game and battled back. Getting the winner in OT, there is a lot of stuff you can build on and hopefully bring into the next game."
The win snapped a five-game losing skid for the Ducks and the long-forgotten three-goal deficit matched the largest comeback win in franchise history.
It was the second time in as many games that the Stars blew a lead and lost after regulation. They wasted a 2-0 advantage in a 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton on Saturday.
"Anytime you have a three-goal lead and you don't bring it home … you have to want the puck, you have to want to make plays," Stars coach Marc Crawford said. "You've got to be supportive of one another. We made a couple of mistakes in the third period that were non-supportive mistakes.
"In the third period, you knew they were going to come and make a push. That's the way they play. Our forwards were so supportive, but we got away from that at crucial moments. Those few mistakes we made ended up the difference-makers."
For nearly 40 minutes, the Stars had by far the better of the play.
Brad Richards opened the scoring 9:06 into the game, one-timing James Neal's passout from behind the net past Jean-Sebastien Giguere from the right circle. Mike Modano made it 2-0 at 10:59, ripping a blast past Giguere after a perfect pass by Steve Ott
on a 2-on-1 break.
Richards got his second of the night 6:20 into the third period when his wrister from the right circle hit defenseman James Wisniewski and went behind Giguere.
"Trying to sit back and hope for wins in the third is never a good recipe for success," Dallas captain Brenden Morrow
said after the Stars lost for the ninth time in 12 games that have gone past regulation. "We're pretty frustrated with the way we finished in some games here and there in the first third of the season."
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.