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game recap

Adam Cracknell helps Stars rally for win

Gets goal, assist in third period to break tie, defeat Ducks

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

DALLAS -- Adam Cracknell had a goal and an assist in the third period, and the Dallas Stars opened their season with a 4-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center on Thursday.

Cracknell set up Antoine Roussel's go-ahead goal, and then scored with 10:23 remaining when he drove to the net and finished off a pass from Radek Faksa.

Roussel's goal restored the Stars' lead 22 seconds after Ducks center Andrew Cogliano scored his second goal to tie it 2-2 at 1:01 of the period.

"I think it's just trying to get that momentum back (after they score)," Cracknell said. "That's our role. (Roussel) made a good yell, I knew he was backdoor and I just whacked it over there. He's a guy who is going to work hard for that puck."

Video: ANA@DAL: Roussel tips in a goal for the lead

Dallas goalie Antti Niemi made 33 saves, including 16 in the first period when the Stars were outshot 17-1.

"It was nice," Niemi said. "We did a great job of keeping them outside and not really giving them too much."

Less than a minute into the game, Niemi turned away a 2-on-1 chance by Ducks left wing Nick Ritchie. Later in the period, he made a difficult save through traffic on center Ryan Getzlaf.

Niemi helped Dallas kill four first-period penalties with six saves while shorthanded.

Dallas scored on its only shot in the first period when right wing Patrick Eaves feathered a cross-crease pass to defenseman Stephen Johns, who pinched in and beat Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler to the far post and shot past goalie John Gibson.

Cogliano tied it 1-1 at 14:09 of the period when he scored on a shorthanded breakaway. He stole the puck from center Jason Spezza at the blue line; Niemi made the initial save, but Cogliano scored on the rebound.

Lauri Korpikoski scored on Dallas' third shot of the game 2:43 into the second period. Stars center Devin Shore carried the puck into the offensive zone and slid a backhand pass to Korpikoski, who took a wrist shot past Gibson's left pad.

Video: ANA@DAL: Korpikoski finds the five-hole for the lead


Goal of the game

Twenty-two seconds after the Ducks had tied it 2-2, the Stars' third line restored the lead 1:23 into the third period. Cracknell tracked down the puck after Jordie Benn's point shot ricocheted off the end boards and threw a no-look backhand pass to Roussel for the game-winner.

Video: ANA@DAL: Cracknell goes five-hole for the goal


Save of the game

Niemi was busy in the first period and turned away 16 of 17 shots to keep Dallas in the game. His biggest save came against Getzlaf with 4:13 remaining in the period. Anaheim had traffic in front of the net, but Niemi was able to make the glove save and keep it tied 1-1.


Highlight of the game

Johns scored on the Stars' first shot of the season when he converted a cross-crease pass from Eaves. Eaves had the puck in the corner and curled before sending the pass across to Johns, who easily scored on Dallas' only shot of the first period.

"It's fun scoring. I don't think it'll ever get old," Johns said. "I just saw an opening and a lot of open ice. I saw Patty Eaves had the puck and I just went to the backdoor."

Video: ANA@DAL: Johns nets the Stars' first goal of season


Unsung moment of the game

The Dallas penalty-killers were busy in the first period and thwarted all four Anaheim power-play opportunities. With 10:55 remaining in the period, Benn was given a double minor for high sticking. The Stars killed the penalties and limited the Ducks to one shot on goal over the four minutes to keep it was 1-0.


They said it

"I think everyone knew. We have great leaders in here, no one needs to come in yelling. It was a 1-1 game, we weren't getting blown out. We just had to smarten up a little bit. At the same time, we have a mature enough group no one is going to panic." -- Stars forward Adam Cracknell on changes after the first period


"We've got to be better in those areas. And as I talked about defensively, how can you allow a team to score three from the top of the crease? That's blown coverage and that's missed coverage." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle


Video: ANA@DAL: Cogliano steals feed, nets SHG on breakaway


Need to know

Anaheim defenseman Simon Despres sustained an upper-body injury and is day to day. … The Ducks claimed forward Emerson Etem off waivers Thursday; they placed forward Joseph Cramarossa on waivers. Etem played for Anaheim from 2012-2015 before being traded to the New York Rangers. Etem will join the Ducks in Pittsburgh on Friday.


What's next

Ducks: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, ROOT, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Stars: At the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

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