|Ryan Getzlaf (left) and Corey Perry (right), both goal-scorers last night, were among the Ducks to head to John Wayne Airport en route to Dallas this morning.
By Adam Brady
With renewed life in this Western Conference Quarterfinals Series with the Stars, the Ducks headed out of Anaheim this morning to go back to Dallas for Game 6. The return comes just about a day and a half after last leaving the city, but the Ducks head back in better spirits than when they left, which followed a disappointing Game 4 loss that left them down 3-1 in the serious.
Last night Anaheim came roaring back with a convincing 5-2 win at Honda Center in which five different Ducks scored goals and goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Tomorrow night will be just the next step in the Ducks trying to become the 19th team in NHL history to come back from a 3-1 series deficit.
“We're still really behind the 8-ball.” said defenseman Sean O’Donnell, whose third period goal last night was his first in the playoffs since May of 2006 and gave the Ducks an important two-goal lead. “We just have to go in on Sunday and see what we can do. We haven't done things very easily this year, but this team still has a lot of fight in it. We did win it last year, and you can't do that unless your best comes out when it's necessary.”
The Ducks will have to do it in front of what will likely be a raucous crowd at American Airlines Arena, a place that before Game 4 hadn’t been that friendly to the home team. The Stars had lost seven of their last eight playoff games there before their 3-1 victory in Thursday night.
The Ducks will need to reverse the result of that game to earn the right for a Game 7 back in Anaheim on Tuesday night.
|"I actually felt good, better than [Thursday] night," Giguere said of his 40-save effort in Game 5. "Maybe I need less sleep." |
"I really believe this is the group that can do it," said Teemu Selanne, who had the eventual game-winner early in last night’s third period. "It's going to be tough, but there are teams that have done it before, so that's a good sign."
The grind of shuttling between Dallas and Anaheim didn’t seem to get to the Ducks last night, who with their backs against the wall came out with an energy that pushed them to perhaps their finest performance of the series. That was especially true for Giguere, who faced more shots in a playoff game than he had in last year’s conference semifinals.
"I actually felt good, better than [Thursday] night," Giguere said. "Maybe I need less sleep."
A key for the Ducks tomorrow night will be to continue the penalty-killing success they’ve shown the past two games, where they have nixed all 13 Dallas power play opportunities. The Stars were 8 of 20 in the first three games of the series, two of them Dallas wins.
“It was just a matter of the odds before we finally got on a roll and killed some of them,” O’Donnell said. “They were giving it to us pretty good the first three games on the power play. We made some adjustments. I think we’ve done a decent job. I’m sure they’re going to make some changes for Sunday night. The chess game continues.”
Checking line forward Rob Niedermayer made the trip out of Orange County with the team after missing the last three games with concussion-like symptoms. Niedermayer didn’t make the trip to Dallas for Game 3 and 4 and was replaced on that line by Todd Marchant, who had two goals, including an empty-netter in the closing moments last night.