ANAHEIM, Calif. – Rob Niedermayer and Jonathan Hedstrom both scored in the shootout to lead the Ducks over the Dallas Stars 5-4 on Friday night at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
The shootout loss was Dallas’ first ever and earned the Ducks two crucial standings points at the beginning of a pivotal four-game homestand.
“At this time of the year, all the wins are very important,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. “We’re in a situation where we can control our own destiny if we play well enough over the next two weeks. That’s going to be very important to our group.”
Overtime and the eventual shootout only became a reality for Anaheim at 17:42 of the third period with Dallas leading 4-3 and time expired on a minor holding penalty to the Stars’ Philippe Boucher. With the Anaheim offense still buzzing in the Dallas zone Teemu Selanne fed Andy McDonald (29, Selanne, Lupul) who ripped a one-timer past Marty Turco to tie the contest 4-4.
“It was the end of the power play and Lups and Teemu were doing a good job down low,” said McDonald of his game-tying goal. “Teemu spun off the check and made a good pass to me. I was just trying to get it by the defenseman and I don’t think Turco got a good look at it.”
Anaheim moved ahead of Vancouver in the Western Conference playoff chase. The Canucks earned one point in a shootout loss tonight to Minnesota. The Ducks now have 88 points and are tied with Colorado for fifth place in the conference. The Canucks – the Ducks next opponent – have 87 points and are sixth in the West.
“Dallas is a great hockey club and it shows by the way they play,” said Rob Niedermayer. “To come back like that shows a lot of character. “We needed that.”
The Ducks got a quick start in the contest when Chris Kunitz (16, Selanne, Beauchemin) tallied his 16th goal of the season to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead just 31 seconds into the first period.
Dallas answered at 11:48 of the first as Jeremy Stevenson (5, Ott, Klemm) scored at the side of the Ducks’ net to tie the game 1-1.
With the Stars on the power play at 13:05 of the first period, Samuel Pahlsson (7, Unassisted) scored his third shorthanded goal of the season off a face off in the Stars end.
Dallas got the marker back on the same power play 52 seconds later as Stephane Robidas (4, Kapanen, Miettinen) tallied his fourth goal of the season at 13:57 of the first period.
Jason Arnott (29, Morrow, Robidas – 6:40 of 2nd) and Todd Fedoruk (4, Beauchemin, S. Niedermayer – 17:21 of 2nd) traded second period goals and the two teams were tied 3-3 after two periods.
The Stars started the third period on a 5-on-3 power play and got a 5-on-4 power play goal from Brenden Morrow (21, Niinimaa, Boucher) at 1:35 of the third to put Dallas up 4-3.
McDonald got the Ducks even with 2:18 to play in the third and after a scoreless overtime Rob Niedermayer and Hedstrom scored in Anaheim’s shootout attempts.
Ducks netminder JS Giguere stopped both Antti Miettinen and Jussi Jokinen to secure the victory for the Ducks.
Anaheim faces Vancouver on Sunday at 1 PM in game two of this four-game homestand.