"We played bad tonight," Bruce Boudreau said bluntly. "It wasn’t fun to watch."
Indeed, the momentum the Ducks had generated from a run of 9 wins in 11 games, from an emphatic 4-1 win on the road out of the All-Star break, was restrained by last night's defeat. And it didn't help that it once again came at the hands of the Stars, who edged the Ducks 1-0 before the break and now represent the only two regulation losses the Ducks have suffered in the last 12 games.
"I thought we played 12 really good games in a row," Boudreau said. "Tonight, we didn’t. We stunk."
Actually, things did begin promisingly for Anaheim last night, as they went on top early when Matt Beleskey
's shot from the point caromed off Stephane Robidas' boot and got past Kari Lehtonen. (At first glance, it appeared Andrew Cogliano
got his blade on it, which would have been a nice follow-up to his hat trick the night before.)
But things went south from there, in large part because of some carelesness with the puck. Dallas scored three unanswered -- two coming off Luca Sbisa
turnovers -- and never looked back. Yes, the Ducks went into the third down two goals, but their hopes were quickly dashed by a Sheldon Souray goal just 36 seconds in that made it 5-2 and many any comeback doubtful.
"We battled back, had a lot of energy in the second period and thought we could turn this game around," said Sbisa, who took responsbility for those two Dallas goals in the first. "In the first shift of the third period they got a goal and that kind of knocked the wind out of us. At the end of the day, we can’t be happy with ourselves."
Last night's loss meant the Ducks remained 10 points behind the Wild in the eighth spot with 32 games to go. A big hill to climb? Certainly. Impossible? Well, the Ducks themselves are trying to show they still have faith any way they can.
Yesterday each player was given this t-shirt, which reads I BELIEVE on the front and MIRACLES DO HAPPEN on the back.